A. Sports played at the ancient games • Boxing: Boxers fought until one man was knocked out, or admitted he had been beaten. Unlike the modern sport, there were no rounds, and there was no rule against hitting an opponent when he was down. • Pankration: Like a combination of boxing and wrestling, in this event the combatants were allowed to punch, though biting and gouging an opponent's eyes, nose, or mouth with fingernails was not allowed. • Wrestling: This event was similar to the modern sport - with three successful throws necessary to win a match. an athlete needed to throw his opponent on the ground, landing on a hip, shoulder, or back for a fair fall. Biting and genital holds were illegal. • Running: There were 4 types of races at Olympia. The oldest event is the stadion, in which the runners sprinted over the distance of 1 stade (192 m), which is the length of the ancient stadium in Olympic. They also raced over 2-stade race (384 m), and a long-distance run which ranged from 7 to 24 stades (1,344 m to 4,608 m). There was no marathon race, as this was made up for the modern Olympics. They did, however, have a grueling event held over 2 to 4-stade with the competitors wearing armor. • Equestrian events: There were both chariot racing and riding events. The chariot races were held over 12 laps of the stadium (about 9 miles), and included both 2-horse and 4-horse races, a race for chariots drawn by foals and mules. In the riding events, held over 6 laps around the track (about 4.5 miles), the jockeys rode bareback. There were separate races for adult horses and foals. • Pentathlon: This event involve a combination of five separate events: Discus, Javelin, Jump, Running, and Wrestling. The running and wrestling events were as described above. The discus was similar to the modern event, with the implement made from stone, iron, bronze, or lead. The javelin event was also similar to the modern event, though the javelin was made of wood and had a thong for attaching the thrower's fingers. In the jumping event, the participants held onto lead or stone jump weights (called halters) which were thrown backwards during the jump to propel them forward and increase the length of their jump.
B. Who could participate in the games • Only free men (not slaves) who spoke Greek could compete, rather than athletes from any country as in the modern Olympics. • The Olympics were open to any free-born Greek in the world. There were separate men’s and boys' divisions for the events. • Women were not allowed to compete in the Games themselves. However, they could enter equestrian events as the owner of a chariot team or an individual horse, and win victories that way. The winner of the first Olympic chariot and pair race is listed as "Belistiche, a woman from the seaboard of Macedonia."
C. How is the term ekecheira related to the Olympics? • The period of sacred truce for the duration of the Olympic Games had a special name -- ekecheiria. The first ekecheiria was made for a month between Iphitos of Elis, Kleosthenes of Pisa and Lykourgos of Sparta • Hostilities ceased (although wars might be going on elsewhere) • Arms and armies were not allowed to enter Elis. • During the truce there were no executions.
D. Modern games played at the Olympics • At the first Olympic Games in 1896, there were nine sports contested. Since that time many sports have been added (and removed too) from the program. Only five sports have been contested at every summer Olympic games since 1896: Athletics, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics and Swimming. In 2012 there will be 26 sports contested. There are pages about the number of sports at each Olympiad, and also the changes over time. • After the 2008 Olympics the sports of Baseball and Softball were dropped from the program. The IOC can vote to…