What Did Ancient Greece Do in the Olympics?

The Olympic games are one of the most prestigious events in the world of sports today. Held every four years, athletes from all around the world compete against each other to win a medal and bring glory to their country.

But did you know that the ancient Greeks were the ones who first started this tradition? Let’s take a look at what ancient Greece did in the Olympics.

History of the Olympics

The first Olympic games were held in ancient Greece in 776 BC, in a place called Olympia. The games were dedicated to Zeus, the king of gods and goddesses. At first, only men could participate in the games, and they had to be Greek citizens.

What Did They Do?

The ancient Greeks participated in various events during the Olympics. Some of these included:

  • Running: The most popular event was running, which included races between different distances such as sprints, middle-distance runs and long-distance runs.
  • Jumping: Jumping was also a common event, with competitions like long jump and high jump.
  • Throwing: Discus throwing and javelin throwing were also popular events.
  • Fighting: Boxing and wrestling were also part of the games.

Athleticism and Spirituality

For ancient Greeks, participating in sports was not just about physical fitness but also about spirituality. They believed that sports could help them connect with their gods and goddesses. Thus, before each event began, athletes would offer prayers to Zeus and other deities.

The Winners

Just like today’s Olympics, there were winners in each event during ancient Greece’s Olympic games. Winners received an olive wreath as a prize, which was a symbol of victory and honor.


The ancient Greeks played a significant role in establishing the Olympic games. They started a tradition that has been passed down for centuries and continues to bring people together from all around the world. The Olympics have come a long way since their early beginnings, but it’s essential to remember their roots and appreciate the legacy left behind by the ancient Greeks.