What Games Were Played in the Ancient Olympics?

During the ancient Olympics, events were held for boxing, chariot racing, running, javelin and discus. Events such as wrestling and jumping were also included.

The first historical records of the Olympics date back to 776 BC. There were not as many events as there are today, and the competitions were always held in Olympia. The Olympics now changes location every 4 years.

Boxing events had very few rules. Fighters, instead of being matched by weight, were selected at random. Fights didn't have any rounds, and competitors could hit each other while on the ground. Matches ended when a fighter was knocked out or admitted defeat. Wrestling rules were similar to today's modern style; a wrestler had to throw his opponent on the ground three times to win. Biting wasn't permitted, but wrestlers were allowed to break the fingers of opponents.

Running was an integral event in the ancient Olympics, and there were four race types. The stadion was the oldest event at the games; runners ran one stade, which was the length of the stadium at around 192 meters. There was also a two-lap race and a long-distance event that was anywhere from seven to 24 laps in length. In one running event, athletes wore armor and ran two to four laps. Armor was very heavy at that time, at around 50 to 60 pounds, making this arguably the most challenging event.