Ancient Olympics was named after Mt. Olympus, which is the highest mountain in Greece. According to Greek mythology, Mt. Olympus is considered to be the abode of the Greek gods and goddesses. Ancient Olympic Games started in 776 BC, when a cook named as Koroibos from a town called Elis won the stadion race, a foot race 600 feet long. Some say this was the only athletic event for the first 13 Olympic festivals until 724 BC. From 776 BC onwards, Olympic games were held in Olympia every four years.
Though ancient games were held in Olympia from 776 BC through 393 AD, it took 1503 years for the Olympics to make a comeback with the first modern Olympics being held in Athens in 1896. And everybody knows that Olympic games became possible because of the efforts of a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who presented the idea in 1894. He had initially planned to start the modern games in 1900 in Paris but delegates from 34 countries were so enthralled with the concept that they got the games started in 1896.
The Greeks who came to compete at Olympia has similar religious beliefs besides speaking the same language. All the athletes were male and dropped in from throughout the Greek empire. There are reports that players came even from far away lands including Iberia (Spain) in the west and the Black Sea (Turkey) in the east.
One of the most symbolic concept of the Olympic games is its torch. It was during the 1928 Olympic games in Amsterdam when the flames were introduced for the first time.
Though Olympic games has become very professional by nature now, but the Greeks were serious in all kinds of games even thousands of years ago. One of the attention was specially attending to athletic competition that tested the physical abilities of men. The great Greeks were of the opinion that the only way to impress the gods is to pray for them through strong, fit, graceful bodies. So to get Gods notice, it was very essential to exercise, to eat right, to oil your skin, to create a beautiful body that the gods would love. It was not only in the Olympics that the Greeks became very serious. Another event known as the Isthmian games also drew a lot of people with muscles.
Greek men also played a lot of games which were not included in the Olympic games, like field hockey. Greek men loved playing games without their clothes on.
It was not only the Greeks that loved games. Even the Egyptians spend a huge amount of time totally devoted to games. But there was a difference. While the Greeks loved sports events in stadiums, Egyptians were more comfortable in indoor games especially board games. One of such games was Senet, a very popular Ancient Egyptian board game played primarily by wealthy adults.