The ancient Olympic Games were originally a festival, or celebration of and for Zeus; later, events such as a footrace, a javelin contest, and wrestling matches were added. The Olympic Games (Ancient Greek: Ὀλύμπια, Olympia, "the Olympics"; also Ὀλυμπιάς, Olympias, "the Olympiad") were a series of athletic competitions among representatives of city-states and one of the Panhellenic Games of ancient Greece. They were held in honor of Zeus, and the Greeks gave them a mythological origin. The first Olympics is traditionally dated to 776 BC. They continued to be celebrated when Greece came under Roman rule, until the emperor Theodosius I suppressed them in AD 393 as part of the campaign to impose Christianity as the State religion of Rome. The games were held every four years, or olympiad, which became a unit of time in historical chronologies.
During the celebration of the games, an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their cities to the games in safety. The prizes for the victors were olive leaf wreaths or crowns. The games became a political tool used by city-states to assert dominance over their rivals. Politicians would announce political alliances at the games, and in times of war, priests would offer sacrifices to the gods for victory. The games were also used to help spread Hellenistic culture throughout the Mediterranean. The Olympics also featured religious celebrations. The statue of Zeus at Olympia was counted as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Sculptors and poets would congregate each olympiad to display their works of art to would-be patrons.
The ancient Olympics had fewer events than the modern games, and only freeborn Greek men were allowed to participate, although there were victorious women chariot owners. As long as they met the entrance criteria, athletes from any Greek city-state and kingdom were allowed to participate, although the Hellanodikai, the officials in charge, allowed king Alexander I of Macedon to participate in the games only after he had proven his Greek ancestry. The games were always held at Olympia rather than moving between different locations as is the practice with the modern Olympic Games. Victors at the Olympics were honored, and their feats chronicled for future generations.
To the Greeks, it was important to root the Olympic Games in mythology. During the time of the ancient games their origins were attributed to the gods, and competing legends persisted as to who actually was responsible for the genesis of the games.
These origin traditions have become nearly impossible to untangle, yet a chronology and patterns have arisen that help people understand the story behind the games.
The patterns that emerge from these myths are that the Greeks believed the games had their roots in religion, that athletic competition was tied to worship of the gods, and the revival of the ancient games was intended to bring peace, harmony and a return to the origins of Greek life.
Since these myths were documented by historians like Pausanias, who lived during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the AD 160, it is likely that these stories are more fable than fact. It was often supposed that the origins of many aspects of the Olympics date to funeral games of the Mycenean period and later. Alternatively, the games were thought to derive from some kind of vegetation magic or from initiation ceremonies. The most recent theory traces the origins of the games to large game hunting and related animal ceremonialism.
The Olympic games were held to be one of the two central rituals in ancient Greece, the other being the much older religious festival, the Eleusinian Mysteries. The games first started in Olympia, Greece, in a sanctuary site for the Greek deities near the towns of Elis and Pisa (both in Elis on the peninsula of Peloponnesos). The Sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia housed a 13-metre-high (43 ft) statue in ivory and gold of Zeus that had been sculpted by Phidias circa 445 BC. This statue was one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. By the time of the Classical Greek culture, in the fifth and fourth centuries BC, the games were restricted to male participants.
The historian Ephorus, who lived in the fourth century BC, is one potential candidate for establishing the use of Olympiads to count years, although credit for codifying this particular epoch usually falls to Hippias of Elis, to Eratosthenes, or even to Timaeus, whom Eratosthenes may have imitated. The Olympic Games were held at four-year intervals, and later, the ancient historians' method of counting the years even referred to these games, using the term Olympiad for the period between two games. Previously, the local dating systems of the Greek states were used (they continued to be used by everyone except the historians), which led to confusion when trying to determine dates. For example, Diodorus states that there was a solar eclipse in the third year of the 113th Olympiad, which must be the eclipse of 316 BC. This gives a date of (mid-summer) 765 BC for the first year of the first Olympiad. Nevertheless, there is disagreement among scholars as to when the games began.
The only competition held then was, according to the later Greek traveller Pausanias who wrote in AD 175, the stadion race, a race over about 190 metres (620 feet), measured after the feet of Hercules. The word stadium is derived from this foot race.
Several groups fought over control of the sanctuary at Olympia, and hence the games, for prestige and political advantage. Pausanias later writes that in 668 BC, Pheidon of Argos was commissioned by the town of Pisa to capture the sanctuary from the town of Elis, which he did and then personally controlled the games for that year. The next year, Elis regained control.
The Olympic Games were part of the Panhellenic Games, four separate games held at two- or four-year intervals, but arranged so that there was at least one set of games every year. The Olympic Games were more important and more prestigious than the Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian Games.
The games were in decline for many years but continued past AD 385, by which time flooding and earthquakes had damaged the buildings and invasions by barbarians had reached Olympia. In 394 Theodosius I banned all pagan festivals, but archeological evidence indicates that some games were still held.
The ancient Olympics were as much a religious festival as an athletic event. The games were held in honor of the Greek god Zeus, and on the middle day of the games, 100 oxen would be sacrificed to him. Over time Olympia, the site of the games, became a central spot for the worship of the head of the Greek pantheon and a temple, built by the Greek architect Libon, was erected on the mountaintop. The temple was one of the largest Doric temples in Greece. The sculptor Pheidias created a statue of the god made of gold and ivory. It stood 42 feet (13 m) tall. It was placed on a throne in the temple. The statue became one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. As the historian Strabo put it,
... the glory of the temple persisted ... on account both of the festal assembly and of the Olympian Games, in which the prize was a crown and which were regarded as sacred, the greatest games in the world. The temple was adorned by its numerous offerings, which were dedicated there from all parts of Greece.
Artistic expression was a major part of the games. Sculptors, poets, painters and other artisans would come to the games to display their works in what became an artistic competition. Sculptors created works like Myron's Diskobolos or Discus Thrower. Their aim was to highlight natural human movement and the shape of muscles and the body. Poets would be commissioned to write poems in praise of the Olympic victors. Such victory songs or epinicians, were passed on from generation to generation and many of them have lasted far longer than any other honor made for the same purpose. Pierre de Coubertin, one of the founders of the modern Olympic Games, wanted to fully imitate the ancient Olympics in every way. Included in his vision was an artistic competition modeled on the ancient Olympics and held every four years, during the celebration of the Olympic Games. His desire came to fruition at the Olympics held in Athens in 1896.
Power in ancient Greece became centered around the city-state in the 8th century BC. The city-state was a population center organized into a self-contained political entity. These city-states often lived in close proximity to each other, which created competition for limited resources. Though conflict between the city-states was ubiquitous, it was also in their self-interest to engage in trade, military alliances and cultural interaction. The city-states had a dichotomous relationship with each other: on one hand, they relied on their neighbors for political and military alliances, while on the other they competed fiercely with those same neighbors for vital resources. The Olympic Games were established in this political context and served as a venue for representatives of the city-states to peacefully compete against each other.
In the first 200 years of the games' existence, they only had regional religious importance. Only Greeks in proximity to the mountain competed in these early games. This is evidenced by the dominance of Peloponnesian athletes in the victors' rolls. The spread of Greek colonies in the 5th and 6th centuries BC is repeatedly linked to successful Olympic athletes. For example, Pausanias recounts that Cyrene was founded c. 630 BC by settlers from Thera with Spartan support. The support Sparta gave was primarily the loan of three-time Olympic champion Chionis. The appeal of settling with an Olympic champion helped to populate the colonies and maintain cultural and political ties with the city-states near Olympia. Thus, Hellenic culture and the games spread while the primacy of Olympia persisted.
The games faced a serious challenge during the Peloponnesian War, which primarily pitted Athens against Sparta, but, in reality, touched nearly every Hellenic city-state. The Olympics were used during this time to announce alliances and offer sacrifices to the gods for victory.
During the Olympic Games, a truce, or ekecheiria was observed. Three runners, known as spondophoroi, were sent from Elis to the participant cities at each set of games to announce the beginning of the truce. During this period, armies were forbidden from entering Olympia; and legal disputes, and the use of the death penalty, were forbidden. The truce — primarily designed to allow athletes and visitors to travel safely to the games — was, for the most part, observed. Thucydides wrote of a situation when the Spartans were forbidden from attending the games, and the violators of the truce were fined 2,000 minae for assaulting the city of Lepreum during the period of the ekecheiria. The Spartans disputed the fine and claimed that the truce had not yet taken hold.
While a martial truce was observed by all participating city-states, no such reprieve from conflict existed in the political arena. The Olympic Games evolved the most influential athletic and cultural stage in ancient Greece, and arguably in the ancient world. As such the games became a vehicle for city-states to promote themselves. The result was political intrigue and controversy. For example, Pausanias, a Greek historian, explains the situation of the athlete Sotades,
Sotades at the ninety-ninth Festival was victorious in the long race and proclaimed a Cretan, as in fact he was. But at the next Festival he made himself an Ephesian, being bribed to do so by the Ephesian people. For this act he was banished by the Cretans.
|Events at the Olympics|
|Olympiad||Year||Event first introduced|
|15th||720 BC||Long distance race (Dolichos)|
|18th||708 BC||Pentathlon, Wrestling|
|23rd||688 BC||Boxing (pygmachia)|
|25th||680 BC||Four horse chariot race (tethrippon)|
|33rd||648 BC||Horse race (keles), Pankration|
|37th||632 BC||Boys stade and wrestling|
|38th||628 BC||Boys pentathlon|
|41st||616 BC||Boys boxing|
|65th||520 BC||Hoplite race (hoplitodromos)|
|70th||500 BC||Mule-cart race (apene)|
|93rd||408 BC||Two horse chariot race (synoris)|
|96th||396 BC||Competition for heralds and trumpeters|
|99th||384 BC||Tethrippon for horse over one year|
|128th||266 BC||Chariot for horse over one year|
|131st||256 BC||Race for horses older than one year|
|145th||200 BC||Pankration for boys|
Apparently starting with just a single foot race, the program gradually increased to twenty-three contests, although no more than twenty featured at any one Olympiad. Participation in most events was limited to male athletes except for women who were allowed to take part by entering horses in the equestrian events. Youth events are recorded as starting in 632 BC. Our knowledge of how the events were performed primarily derives from the paintings of athletes found on many vases, particularly those of the Archaic and Classical periods.
The only event recorded at the first thirteen games was the stade, a straight-line sprint of just over 192 metres. The diaulos (lit. "double pipe"), or two-stade race, is recorded as being introduced at the 14th Olympiad in 724 BC. It is thought that competitors ran in lanes marked out with lime or gypsum for the length of a stade then turned around separate posts (kampteres), before returning to the start line. Xenophanes wrote that "Victory by speed of foot is honored above all."
A third foot race, the dolichos ("long race"), was introduced in the next Olympiad. Accounts of the race's distance differ, it seems to have been from twenty to twenty-four laps of the track, around 7.5 km to 9 km, although it may have been lengths rather than laps and thus half as far.
The last running event added to the Olympic program was the hoplitodromos, or "Hoplite race", introduced in 520 BC and traditionally run as the last race of the games. Competitors ran either a single or double diaulos (approximately 400 or 800 metres) in full military armour. The hoplitodromos was based on a war tactic of soldiers running in full armor to surprise the enemy.
Wrestling (pale) is recorded as being introduced at the 18th Olympiad. Three throws were necessary for a win. A throw was counted if the body, hip, back or shoulder (and possibly knee) touched the ground. If both competitors fell nothing was counted. Unlike its modern counterpart Greco-Roman wrestling, it is likely that tripping was allowed.
Boxing (pygmachia) was first listed in 688 BC, the boys event sixty years later. The laws of boxing were ascribed to the first Olympic champion Onomastus of Smyrna. It appears body-blows were either not permitted or not practised. The Spartans, who claimed to have invented boxing, quickly abandoned it and did not take part in boxing competitions. At first the boxers wore himantes (sing. himas), long leather strips which were wrapped around their hands.
The pankration was introduced in the 33rd Olympiad (648 BC). Boys' pankration became an Olympic event in 200 BC, in the 145th Olympiad. As well as techniques from boxing and wrestling, athletes used kicks, locks, and chokes on the ground. Although the only prohibitions were against biting and gouging, the pankration was regarded as less dangerous than boxing.
It was one of the most popular events: Pindar wrote eight odes praising victors of the pankration. A famous event in the sport was the posthumous victory of Arrhichion of Phigaleia who "expired at the very moment when his opponent acknowledged himself beaten."
The pentathlon was a competition made up of five events: running, long jump, discus throw, javelin throw and wrestling. The pentathlon is said to have first appeared at the 18th Olympiad in 708 BC. The competition was held on a single day, but it is not known how the victor was decided, or in what order the events occurred, except that it finished with the wrestling.
Horse racing and chariot racing were the most prestigious competitions in the games, due to only the wealthy being able to afford the maintenance and transportation of horses. These races consisted of different events: the four-horse chariot race, the two-horse chariot race, and the horse with rider race, the rider being hand picked by the owner. The four-horse chariot race was the first equestrian event to feature in the Olympics, being introduced in 680 BC. It consisted of two horses that were harnessed under a Yoke in the middle, and two outer horses that were attached with a rope. The two-horse chariot was introduced in 408 BC. The horse with rider competition on the other hand, was introduced in 648 BC. In this race, Greeks didn't use saddles or stirrups, so they required good grip and balance.
In AD 67, the Roman Emperor Nero competed in the chariot race at Olympia. He was thrown from his chariot and was thus unable to finish the race. Nevertheless, he was declared the winner on the basis that he would have won if he had finished the race.
Athletic festivals under the name of "Olympic games", named in imitation of the original festival at Olympia, were established over time in various places all over the Greek world. Some of these are only known to us by inscriptions and coins; but others, as the Olympic festival at Antioch, obtained great celebrity. After these Olympic festivals had been established in several places, the great Olympic festival itself was sometimes designated in inscriptions by the addition of Pisa.
Πανελλήνια συμμετοχή είχαν: τα Ολύμπια, που διεξάγονταν κάθε τέσσερα χρόνια στην Αρχαία Ολυμπία προς τιμήν του Διός
Phelps has now overtaken Leonidas of Rhodes as the most decorated Olympian of this, that, and every era. Leonidas, as every self-respecting sports fan knows, did the sprint triple in the stadion, the diaulos, and the hoplitodromos, at four Olympics in a row between 164 and 152 BC. Or 2,168 years ago.
The Ancient Olympic pentathlon (Greek: πένταθλον) was an athletic contest at the Ancient Olympic Games, and other Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece. The name derives from Greek, combining the words pente (five) and athlon (competition). Five events were contested over one day, starting with the stadion (a short foot race) followed by the Javelin throw, Discus throw, Long jump (the order of these three events is still unclear), and ending with wrestling. While Pentathletes were considered to be inferior to the specialized athletes in a certain event, they were superior in overall development and were some of the most well balanced of all the athletes. Their training was often part of military service—each of the five events was thought to be useful in battle.Asterix at the Olympic Games (film)
Asterix at the Olympic Games (French: Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques) is a 2008 French fantasy comedy film directed by Frédéric Forestier and Thomas Langmann, and written by Langmann, Alexandre Charlot, and Frank Magnier, based on characters from René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo's Astérix comic series. It was filmed primarily in Spain over the course of the year 2006.
At the time of its release, it was the most expensive French and non English-speaking film of all time. The film has been poorly received by critics, but performed well at several European box offices, topping charts in Poland, Spain, and France. In May 2008, it received the "Gérard du cinéma" (French equivalent of the Razzie Awards) for "Worst French film made in 2007".Chronicon (Eusebius)
The Chronicon or Chronicle (Greek: Παντοδαπὴ ἱστορία Pantodape historia, "Universal history") was a work in two books by Eusebius of Caesarea. It seems to have been compiled in the early 4th century. It contained a world chronicle from Abraham until the vicennalia of Constantine I in A.D. 325. Book 1 contained sets of extracts from earlier writers; book 2 contained a technically innovative list of dates and events in tabular format.
The original Greek text is lost, although substantial quotations exist in later chronographers. Both books are mostly preserved in an Armenian translation. Book 2 is entirely preserved in the Latin translation by Jerome. Portions also exist in quotation in later Syriac writers such as the fragments by James of Edessa and, following him, Michael the Syrian.
The Chronicle as preserved extends to the year 325, and was written before the "Church History".Coroebus of Elis
Coroebus of Elis, commonly spelled Koroibos (Greek: Κόροιβος Ἠλεῖος), was a Greek cook, baker and athlete from Elis, who won the stadion race in the first recorded Ancient Olympic Games in 776 BC.Desmon of Corinth
Desmon of Corinth was an ancient Greek athlete from Corinth who won the stadion race of the 14th Ancient Olympic Games in 724 BC. These were the first Olympic Games that also saw a double race, i.e. a race with a distance of 2 stadia = 2 x 192 m, called Diaulos (δίαυλος); this double race was won by Hypenus of Elis.Diocles of Corinth
Diocles of Corinth (Greek: Διοκλῆς ὁ Κορίνθιος) was an ancient Greek athlete from Corinth who won the stadion race of the 13th Ancient Olympic Games in 728 BC. The stadion race (about 180 meters) was the only competition in the first 13 Olympiads.
Diocles is said to have been the lover of Philolaos of the Bacchiadae family who became a Nomothete (lawmaker) in Thebes. Diocles then left Corinth to live with Philolaos in Thebes. They lived together for the rest of their lives and were buried in adjoining tombs.Hellanodikai
The Hellanodikai (Ancient Greek: Ἑλλανοδίκαι, literally meaning Judges of the Greeks; sing. Ἑλλανοδίκας ) were the judges of the Ancient Olympic Games, and the success of the games are attributed to their efforts. It was their sacred duty to maintain the standards and legacy of the games, as well as uphold the rules.Hypenus of Elis
Hypenus of Elis was an ancient Greek athlete from Elis who won the double race (Diaulos) of the 14th Ancient Olympic Games in 724 BC. It was the first time that the double race, i.e. a race with a distance of 2 stadia = 2 x 192 m, was run at the Olympic Games.Olive wreath
The Olive wreath also known as kotinos (Greek: κότινος), was the prize for the winner at the ancient Olympic Games. It was a branch of the wild olive tree Kallistefanos Elea (also referred to as Elaia Kallistephanos) that grew at Olympia, intertwined to form a circle or a horse-shoe. The branches of the sacred wild-olive tree near the temple of Zeus were cut by a “pais amfithalis” (a boy whose parents were both alive) with a pair of golden scissors. Then he took them to the temple of Hera and placed them on a gold-ivory table. From there, the Hellanodikai (the judges of the Olympic Games) would take them, make the wreaths and crown the winners of the Games.Olympia, Greece
Olympia (Greek: Ὀλυμπία; Ancient Greek: [olympía]; Modern Greek: [oli(m)ˈbia] Olymbía), is a small town in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, famous for the nearby archaeological site of the same name, which was a major Panhellenic religious sanctuary of ancient Greece, where the ancient Olympic Games were held. The site was primarily dedicated to Zeus and drew visitors from all over the Greek world as one of a group of such "Panhellenic" centres which helped to build the identity of the ancient Greeks as a nation. Despite the name, it is nowhere near Mount Olympus in northern Greece, where the Twelve Olympians, the major deities of Ancient Greek religion, were believed to live.
The Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.The archaeological site held over 70 significant buildings, and ruins of many of these survive, although the main Temple of Zeus survives only as stones on the ground. The site is a major tourist attraction, and has two museums, one devoted to the ancient and modern games.Olympiad
An Olympiad (Greek: Ὀλυμπιάς, Olympiás) is a period of four years associated with the Olympic Games of the Ancient Greeks. Although the Ancient Olympic Games were established during Archaic Greece, it was not until the Hellenistic period, beginning with Ephorus, that the Olympiad was used as a calendar epoch. Converting to the modern BC/AD dating system the first Olympiad began in the summer of 776 BC and lasted until the summer of 772 BC, when the second Olympiad would begin with the commencement of the next games.
By extrapolation to the Gregorian calendar, the
3rd year of the 699th Olympiad will begin in (Northern-Hemisphere) mid-summer 2019.
A modern Olympiad refers to a four-year period beginning on the opening of the Olympic Games for the summer sports. The first modern Olympiad began in 1896, the second in 1900, and so on (the 31st began in 2016: see the Olympic Charter).
The ancient and modern Olympiads would have synchronised had there been a year zero between the Olympiad of 4 BC and the one of 4 AD. But as the Gregorian calendar goes directly from 1 BC to 1 AD, the ancient Olympic cycle now lags the modern cycle by one year.Pentathlon
A pentathlon is a contest featuring five events. The name is derived from Greek: combining the words pente (five) and -athlon (competition) (Greek: πένταθλον). The first pentathlon was documented in Ancient Greece and was part of the Ancient Olympic Games. Five events were contested over one day for the Ancient Olympic pentathlon, starting with the long jump, javelin throwing, and discus throwing, followed by the stadion (a short foot race) and wrestling. Pentathletes were considered to be among the most skilled athletes, and their training was often part of military service—each of the five events in the pentathlon was thought to be useful in war or battle.
With the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern era, the pentathlon returned in two formats. The athletics pentathlon was a modern variation on the original events, with a competition over five track and field events. The modern pentathlon, invented by Pierre de Coubertin (father of the Modern Olympics), was a variation on the military aspect of the Ancient pentathlon. It focused on the skills required by a late-19th-century soldier, with competitions in shooting, swimming, fencing, equestrianism, and cross country running.
A prominent aspect of modern pentathlons is the point system, whereby each competitor is awarded a certain number of points based on their performance in each specific event. The overall winner is the competitor with the highest point total at the end of the five pentathlon events.Phlegon of Tralles
Phlegon of Tralles (Ancient Greek: Φλέγων ὁ Τραλλιανός) was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD.Phrynon
Phrynon of Athens (Greek: Φρύνων ο Αθηναίος; Athens; before 657 BC – Sigeum; c. 606 BC) was a general of ancient Athens, and a winner in ancient Olympic Games.Sostratus of Pellene
Sostratus (Greek: Σώστρατος, Sostratos) was an Ancient Greek athlete from Pellene, Achaea. He won the footrace for boys at the Ancient Olympic Games. He was the first Achaean to win at the Olympics since Oebotas of Dyme. According to legend, Oebotas had cursed the Achaeans for not giving him a special prize after his Olympic victory, so that no Achaean should win at the Olympics. When the Achaeans had dedicated a statue to Oebotas in Olympia, the curse was broken and Sostratus could win.Sprint (running)
Sprinting is running over a short distance in a limited period of time. It is used in many sports that incorporate running, typically as a way of quickly reaching a target or goal, or avoiding or catching an opponent. Human physiology dictates that a runner's near-top speed cannot be maintained for more than 30–35 seconds due to the depletion of phosphocreatine stores in muscles, and perhaps secondarily to excessive metabolic acidosis as a result of anaerobic glycolysis.In athletics and track and field, sprints (or dashes) are races over short distances. They are among the oldest running competitions, being recorded at the Ancient Olympic Games. Three sprints are currently held at the modern Summer Olympics and outdoor World Championships: the 100 metres, 200 metres, and 400 metres.
At the professional level, sprinters begin the race by assuming a crouching position in the starting blocks before leaning forward and gradually moving into an upright position as the race progresses and momentum is gained. The set position differs depending on the start. Body alignment is of key importance in producing the optimal amount of force. Ideally the athlete should begin in a 4-point stance and push off using both legs for maximum force production. Athletes remain in the same lane on the running track throughout all sprinting events, with the sole exception of the 400 m indoors. Races up to 100 m are largely focused upon acceleration to an athlete's maximum speed. All sprints beyond this distance increasingly incorporate an element of endurance.Stadion (running race)
Stadion or stade (Ancient Greek: στάδιον) was an ancient running event, part of the Ancient Olympic Games and the other Panhellenic Games. It was one of the five major Pentathlon events. It was the premier event of the gymnikos agon (γυμνικὸς ἀγών "nude competition").Stadium at Olympia
The stadium at the archaeological site of Olympia, Greece is located to the east of the sanctuary of Zeus. It was the location of many of the sporting events at the Ancient Olympic Games.Wrestling
Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can either be theatrical for entertainment (see professional wrestling), or genuinely competitive. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two (occasionally more) competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position. There are a wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditional historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into other martial arts as well as military hand-to-hand combat systems.
The term wrestling is attested in late Old English, as wræstlunge (glossing palestram).
Ancient Olympic Games