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What events took place in the ancient Olympic Games?

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Quick Answer

Events in the ancient Olympic games included races, the discus throw, wrestling, boxing and a primitive form of mixed martial arts called pankration. The first Olympics lasted only one day but was gradually expanded to three and then five days.

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Full Answer

The first recorded Olympic games took place in 776 BCE and consisted only of a 630-foot race called the one-stade. New sports began to be added as of the 14th Olympic games.

The pentathlon was added in 708 BCE. This consisted of five games that are still played today: the javelin throw, the long jump, the discus throw, wrestling and sprints. Some other types of races that were incorporated were a 400-meter foot race called the dialous, a race of multiple stades called the dolichos and a race in full armor called the hoplitodromos.

Boxing was added in 688 BCE. Straps of ox hide were wrapped around the competitor's fists, but they were intended to make punches more damaging rather than softening blows. Competitors sometimes came away from these contests with disfigured faces.

Pankration was added to the games in 648 BCE. It combined boxing and wrestling into a combat sport where the winner had to make their opponent submit or knock them unconscious.

Chariot races were added in 608 BCE.

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