Hold your own Olympics – Ancient Greece project

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Greek vase showing a man doing a long jump holding weights in both hands

Olympic long jumping with weights to make him go further

Competition, for the Greeks, was a way of pleasing the gods. Competition pleased the gods by creating order out of chaos. That is, it took things which had been all jumbled up, and put them in a defined order, from best to worst.

Do you want to have a Greek Olympics? The Greek Olympics were much simpler than ours today. They only competed in a few events. They had foot races, and chariot races, and wrestling, and throwing contests. (Instead of a chariot race, you might have a bike race).

Olympic Games at Elkview Middle School

In the Greek Olympics, like the Olympics today, only boys could race in the boys’ races. There were separate games for girls. Do you want to have your races separately, or together? Why?

The prizes for the Olympics were laurel wreaths (if you don’t have laurel growing where you are, any leafy branch will do) and jars of olive oil.

One thing that can happen when you create order by lining everybody up from best to worst is that some people will feel bad. Is that okay? Would you rather have chaos, where nobody knows who the best runner is? Or give everyone a prize, so that there is no order? If the idea is to know who the best and worst runners are, should the boys and girls run together?

More about the Greek Olympic Games

Bibliography and further reading about the Olympic Games:

More about the Greek Olympic Games
A day in Ancient Greece

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By |2017-06-11T13:43:35+00:00June 11th, 2017|Games, Greeks|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Hold your own Olympics – Ancient Greece project. Quatr.us Study Guides, June 11, 2017. Web. January 23, 2019.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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