The Events

The Ancient Events


Ancient Javelin had two types of competition, distance throwing and accuracy throwing. Distance throwing was quite similar to today’s javelin except that there was no run up and the javelin was thrown with a thong. The thong increased the distance the athlete could throw the javelin and provided a better grip. Thongs were used in war and hunting but were permanently attached to the shaft. In accuracy javelin the athlete threw a javelin at a target on the back of a horse at a gallop the rider threw the javelin when they reached a certain point the closest one to the centre was the winner. The javelin was a light wooden pole about as big as the athlete it was made by the athlete himself not like nowadays where it was made by a factory so each javelin was different. Practice javelins had a sharp metal tip to stick into the target.



The role of running in ancient Greece was not just a contest. Before it was a competition, running was a necessity. Running had many uses. It was used in battle and to bring news. It was also used in sport, to honour gods, and for self-honour. Running then, has some similarities and some differences to running now. Running was an important factor in battle. Besides the obvious uses of running in battle (attacking and retreating), it was used to send messages. If an army had just come out of a battle, and lost a lot of men, they would need reinforcements. If they knew the enemy was near, they would dispatch a trained long-distance runner with their position, and a request for reinforcements. It was also used after battles, as it was after the Battle of Marathon. Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens an estimated twenty-six miles to give the news of the Greek victory over the Persian Army.



 Pelops, the founder of the Olympic games, was the first to compete in the chariot race. Aided by his patron god Poseidon, Pelops defeated Oinomaos, the king of Pisa. A chariot race was held at the funeral games of Patroklos.


For chariot races, it was necessary to have two or four strong horses, or two strong mules. Charioteers placed the fastest horse on the right side so that they could make turns around the turning post as fast as possible. Chariots used in war usually carried two men, a charioteer and a fighter, but chariots used in competition only carried a charioteer. The charioteer did not own the horses, mules, or chariot but, instead, wealthy men and women who could afford the equipment and its upkeep owned the horses, mules, and chariots. For this reason, the charioteer who won an event did not receive the olive crown; this went to the owner who was named the victor. To prevent accidents, swerving in front of other chariots was not allowed unless the other contestant was ahead


All equestrian events took place in the Hippodrome. A full circuit around the Hippodrome was four stades, or 769 meters, although distances varied at different sites. At Olympia, a full circuit was eight stades, or 1,539 meters. Two turning posts marked the beginning and end of a race at either end of the level arena. An embolon, a wood or stone partition, divided the Hippodrome lengthwise down the middle. The horseback competitions included the keles for full-grown horses, the kalpe for mares, and the race for foals. The chariot races included the tethrippon for a four-horsed chariot for twelve laps; the apene for two mules pulling a chariot; the synoris for a two-horse chariot for eight laps; the synoris for two foals pulling a chariot for three laps; and the tethrippon for four foals pulling a chariot for eight laps.


At the ancient Olympics, wrestling was one of the most popular sports at the Games. It was described the as the marquee event. Wrestling also had the blessing of the gods; Zeus out-wrestled Cronus for the universe, in fact it was celebrated in the Games by making wrestling the final event of the pentathlon. The first recorded Olympic wrestling match occurred at the Olympic Games in 708 B.C.

To prepare for a wrestling round, competitors usually covered themselves in oil so it would be easy to escape from a hold and also put chalk or dust on their hands to have a better grip. The aim of the game is very simple, to throw the opponent on the ground 3 times, biting, gouging and punches were not allowed but breaking the enemy’s fingers was permitted.      


There were 4 types of races at Olympia. The stadion was the oldest event of the Games. Runners sprinted for 1 stade (192 m.), or the length of the stadium. The other races were a 2-stade race (384 m.), and a long-distance run which ranged from 7 to 24 stades (1,344 m. to 4,608 m.).

And if these races weren’t enough, the Greeks had one particularly gruelling event which we lack. There was also a 2 to 4-stade (384 m. to 768 m.) race by athletes in armour. This race was especially useful in building the speed and stamina that Greek men needed during their military service. If we remember that the standard hoplite armour (helmet, shield, and greaves)weighed about 50-60 lbs, it is easy to imagine what such an event must have been like.


The long jump was the only jumping contest in Greek athletics. It must be remembered that every event was originally intended as a form of training for warfare, and the long-jump might have been useful for crossing obstacles like a river or a lake. The high-jump might also have proved helpful, but perhaps it was ignored because it needs more skill than strength and requires special equipment and a soft, gentle landing. In ancient depictions the only time that we see someone using a pole in the same manner as the modern pole-vaulter is to leap on to a horse, although Homer tells us that the agile Nestor once escape the charge of the Caledonian Boar by pole-vaulting into a tree with the aid of his hunting-spear. A Greek long jumper usually had very long legs, long arms and fast pace. It was well known that for the long jump you had to be very fast so that you build up enough momentum to get the best results and the best jump possible. Strong arms are needed to propel yourself and long legs for a massive jum p.


Ancient Greek boxing dates late back to the 8th Century when the great philosophers hadn’t even predicted things like the end of the world, or the age of Gordon Brown, or that the world would fall into economic meltdown. BC. In those days there were no gloves; no bell, no ring as suchs, no mouth guards and if you were squeamish: no clothes on the boxers. Now the rules in this ancient duel of combat were that you couldn’t hold or wrestle. You could punch your opponent but not gouge with your fingers; there were no rounds or time limits.Victory was decided when one fighter gave up or could do no more, there were no weight-classes at all; opponents were selected by chance. So a boxer who was on just above 5ft might have to fight against someone 7ft and then get absolutely smashed. The judges enforced all the rules by beating all offenders with a switch and opponents could choose to exchange blows undefended if the fight went on too long. Boxing’s origins have been found as early as the Minoan and Mycenaean periods which very very very long time ago.


In ancient Olympia there were 4 types of running race. The oldest race and in fact the oldest event was the Stadion. Runners sprinted for 1 stade or the length of the stadium. The other races were a 2-stade race; there was also a long-distance run which ranged from 7 to 24 stades. There was also a race in armour, in which runners carried a shield, a helmet, and shin plates.

Children were educated at an early age about running, as it was a large part of society.

Some facts about the running races in the ancient Olympics:

1. Unlike the modern starting position, the ancient athletes started in a standing position with their arms stretched in front of them.

2.  If there was a tie, the race would be re-run.

3. Instead of winning a gold medal the received an olive branch

4. Competing naked was meant to show appreciation to the gods for creating the male body.

5. Whilst the Olympics was going on there was no capital punishment, war or battle.


The Equestrian events were horseback racing or chariot racing.


Running was one of the first few sports done in the Olympics. The first ever race was the stade race. This was one lap of the stadium and was considered the most fun to watch because it was the shortest and most intense race. The next race which arose was  the diaulos race. It was two laps of the stadium and was named after the double pipes. The last race was the dolichos race which was 24 laps of the stadium. This was considered to be the most boring race and was used to let spectators settle down at the start of the Olympics. Athletes who won all three of the races were called triplers and were very highly respected.


The Greeks always used weight called halteres. On the take-off they were swung forward with as much force as possible, propelling the athlete forward. As he landed, he swung them backwards providing the thrust to achieve those extra inches. To be an ancient athlete required skill and a lot of practice, in fact long jump was considered a very hard event. They did not always use a running start like we would think, and this reduced the amount the athletes jumped.


There were both 2-horse chariot and 4-horse chariot races, with separate races for chariots drawn by foals. Another race was between carts drawn by a team of 2 mules. The course was 12 laps around the stadium track (9 miles). 


The course was 6 laps around the track (4.5 miles), and there were separate races for full-grown horses and foals. Jockeys rode without stirrups.

Only wealthy people could afford to pay for the training, equipment, and feed of both the driver (or jockey) and the horses. As a result, the owner received the olive wreath of victory instead of the driver or jockey.

Wealthy citizens and Greek statesmen were anxious to win such a prestigious event. They sometimes drove their own chariot, but usually employed a charioteer. The races took place in an arena called the hippodrome. The most dangerous place was at the turning post, where chariot wheels could lock together and there were many crashes. After the dangers and excitement of the chariot race came the horseracing. This was hazardous because the track was already churned up, and the jockeys rode without stirrups or saddles, which were not yet invented.

The winning horse and its owner were given an enthusiastic reception, and riderless horses that came first past the post were also honoured.


In ancient Greece the long jump was a part of the pentathlon. The long jump was the only known event for jumping in the ancient Olympic games. Athletes were allowed a short run up before jumping they would be carrying weights called halters which would weigh between 1 and 4.5kg . The athletes would use these to get up their momentum. Athletes were known to throw the halters backwards in mid-air to also increase forward momentum. But generally athletes they would hold them throughout the duration of the jump and when they were ready to end the jump the would swing the weights back and down. The jump was made by something called a bater which was a simple board . The jumper would simply land in the sand pit when they had completed their jump.


Running in ancient Greece was not just a contest, before it was introduced to the Olympiad it was known as a necessity. Running was used in battle and to deliver messages to people. Running was the first event on foot for the first 13 Olympiads when more foot races were added. The dolichos was a long-distance race made up of 20-24 lengths whereas the diavlos consisted of two lengths of the stadium. There was a very different race called the hopitodromia – a race in armour. In all these races the runners made a standing start, from a row of stone slabs set in the track that had grooves cut in them to provide a grip for the toes.


Running was the first and only event in the first 13 Olympiads, gradually other foot races were added. The short foot race or the stade race determined the length of the stadium. Dolichos was a long distance race consisting of twenty four lengths of the stadium, in this event the spectators would settle down. The diaulos consisted of two lengths of the stadium. The Dolichos, diaulos and stade race seem to have been in all major athletic festivals. The exceptional athlete who like Polites in 69 AD won all three events in the same Olympiad was called a triastes or ‘tripler’. There also existed at Olympia the ‘hopitodromia’ a race in armour. The greatest Olympic runner of all was Leonidas of Rhodes who ‘with the speed of a god’ won all three events at each of the four successive Olympiads between 164 and 152. The runners would race naked unlike today and they also had a very different starting position, they would be in an upright position. A Dolichos runner reserved his energy by keeping his arms bent up close to his sides swinging them in a relaxed fashion, only in the final lap did he violently swing his arms like the sprinter


Pankration is an ancient sport, known today as cage fighting. We see this as the most violent sport in the ancient Olympics. But the Greeks considered boxing to be more dangerous.
Pankration is very similar to wrestling, except that instead of just trying to hold your opponent on the ground, you can hurt them until they yield out of pain. Some fights went on for hours, but these were the most exiting fights. The only things that you were not allowed to do were biting and fish hooking (although many athletes tried to get away with these.)
Now days, pankration is still a legitimate sport, more commonly known as cage fighting, as athletes generally fight in a cage. Often the athletes are not fit as such but are very strong so they can pick up, throw, punch, kick, head-butt, and pin down their opponent.

The Modern Events


Table tennis was first invented in Britain in the 1880’s it was played by the upper class as a parlour game it was first called “wiff-waff”. It was played on a table with books as the net and rackets, and a golf ball. Later on it was played with paddles made of cigar box lids and the balls were made of champagne corks. The game got so popular manufacturers started selling the equipment commercially. The commercial rackets were made of some parchment stretched out on a frame and the sound of the ball gave it its name ping pong. Other manufacturers called the game table tennis. In 1901 A British enthusiast discovered the hollow plastic balls on a trip to the US and thought they would be perfect for the game. Also in 1901 the modern racket was invented by sticking nobly rubber to a piece of wood. The popularity of Table tennis was growing by 1901 tournaments were being organised books had been written and an unofficial world championship was held. Table tennis has been a competition in the Olympics since 1988.


A modern event in the Olympics is BMX. BMX is a type of cycling where you would use a small bike with very good suspension to race around a small track with large jumps and obstacles. It is very dangerous sport and people are regularly injured because they fail their jumps or tricks. I think it is an exciting sport to watch because it is new and different.


Long Jump is an Olympic sport which requires a combination of speed strength and agility. This event has been an Olympic medal since the first modern Olympics in 1896. At the elite level, usually competitors run down a runway. The runway is usually coated with the same rubberized surface as running tracks. The competitors jump as far as they can from a wooden board 20 cm/8 inches wide. If the competitor starts the jump with any part of their foot past the foul line, the jump is declared a foul and no distance is recorded. A layer of plasticine is placed immediately after the board to prevent this occurrence.



Boxing is a combat sport in which two opponents face each other in a ring, wearing padded gloves. The fighters face each other in consecutive sessions, known as ‘rounds’, which last between one and three minutes. The number of rounds in a boxing match depends on the level of competition – Olympic matches only have three rounds, whereas professional heavyweight fights can reach a much higher number. The number is agreed before the fight begins. During each round, the opponents punch and strike each other. Holding is not allowed. A boxer is victorious when the opponent is knocked over and does not get up before the referee counts to ten out loud. This is called a knock out. If there is no knock out, the scores of a panel of judges, awarded for each boxer’s performance, will be used to name the winner.


Cycling is a very important sport in the Olympics. There are many different types of cycling eg. Road cycling, BMX and Track Cycling.

Cycling has become very popular over the past few years.

The first Cycling in the the Olympics was road cycling in 1896. This was a Men’s cycling won by a Greek.


Diving is when athletes jump off a platform or spring board into a pool, performing acrobatics in mid-air. It is one of the most popular sports with spectators. The divers would have to be very fit and trained, not only to jump from great heights and to swim, but to do gymnastics and general acrobatics, out and in the water. Most diving competitions consist of three disciplines: 1m and 3m springboards, and the platform. Competitive athletes are divided by gender, and often by age group. In platform events, competitors are allowed to perform their dives on either the five, seven and a half (generally just called seven) or ten meter towers. In major diving heats, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships, platform diving is from the 10 meter height. Divers have to perform a set number of dives according to established requirements, including somersaults and twists. Divers are judged on whether and how well they completed all aspects of the dive, the conformance of their body to the requirements of the dive, and the amount of splash created by their entry to the water. A possible score out of ten is broken down into three points for the take-off, three for the flight, and three for the entry, with one more available to give the judges flexibility. The raw score is multiplied by a difficulty factor, taken from the number and combination of movements attempted. The diver with the highest total score after a sequence of dives is declared the winner.


Synchronized swimming has been a part of the Olympics in various forms since 1984. From 1984 until 1992, the sport features both solo and duet competitions. The solo competition has since been dropped in favour of a team competition. The sport sees athletes compete using a variety of moves in time with music and they are judges on the overall performance.

A British Team member’s routine: 

She starts training at 7am and will finish the day at 5pm. She will do an hour of core and flexibility in the morning before a 5hour pool session. Then she does 2 hours of weight work and a 3hour pool session in the afternoon to finish the day. Before competitions she will also fit in extra land drill time, which is going through the routine on land.


Now for the normal BMX user the BMX is, ‘Bangin yeh’ or ‘Wikid’. For others, like the pros, it is ‘What we, er, used to get a medal at the Olympics’ or ‘We will hope to, er, get a medal at the Olympics in, err, 2012’. Anyway, down to the nitty gritty: in 2012 it will be the second running of the BMX at the Olympics. Now, I’m SO prepared for this blog that I don’t know anything about the event. Except that it involves BMXs, it runs on a dirt track and, like other Olympic events, there are groups, quarter-finals, semi-finals, a final and then the medals. Also, the track is a quarter mile long or 350-370 metres (if you want to be pedantic) and has obstacles, jumps, dirt and tarmac surfaces.    

One final thing: in my last blog, I asked you to comment on which period of time was best for training, modern or ancient. This time, however, I want you to decide which is best, Velodrome racing or BMX Racing. Call it the “Tussle of the Chains”, if you will.


Body posture is an important element in diving. The sooner a beginner diver can master proper diving posture, the easier it is to maintain correct body position during the dives and the more difficult dives. Aside from the fact that proper body posture and body position lead to success in diving competitions, an even more important aspect is diving safety and avoiding injury. When a diver enters the water at speeds close to 35 mph, as is the case when diving off of a ten-meter platform, proper posture and body position can mean the difference between a rip entry, a smack on the water, a strained back muscle, or worse. While not every competitive diver will advance to platform diving, injuries and diving safety are as much a concern on the one-meter springboard as they are on the 10-meter platform.

Olympic Rowing

Olympic rowing started at the 1900 summer Olympics in Paris. It has been staged at every Game since then. Only men were allowed to compete until the women’s events were introduced at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

These are the rowing events at the upcoming Olympics.

Men • M1x Single scull• M2x Double scull• LM2x Lightweight double scull• M4x Quadruple scull• M2- Pair• M4- Four• LM4- Lightweight four• M8+ Eight   Women• W1x Single scull• W2x Double scull• LW2x Lightweight double scull• W4x Quadruple scull• W2- Pair• W8+ Eight


Eton Dorney will be the venue for Rowing, Paralympic Rowing and Canoe Sprint events during the London 2012 Games. It is 2,200m long eight-lane rowing course with a separate return lane. There are going to be 14 events which are all held over the 2,200m course with the whole competition lasting about eight days.

All the Rowing events at 2012 will begin with heats, from which the best boats will go through to the next round. Boats that do not qualify get another chance through the repechage round. Eventually, the best boats proceed through stages and into the finals of each event. The facilities there provided exactly what an athlete needs along with a calm stretch of the man-made lake. There are platforms at one end with floats to keep it buoyant where the boats start off at.

Olympic Rowing



 Bmx is done by people of all ages . There are upto eight racers in a race.Moto cross style takes place in a track between 300-400m with jumps and banking corners.

Bmx caught the attention of the attention of the international Olympic committee and they made it an Olympic event.

There are two different types of racing bmx 20 inch and 24 inch wheels. Peolple race from the age of 4 to upto 40. It is common for the whole family to get involved you would have the rider the mechanic and the trainer .

 There are 8 riders and the first to cross the line wins and qualifies for the final.




It’s the most dominated by strategy. It also requires precision and grace. While it requires athletic skill, it does not require strength and endurance to the human limits. As such, skilled players of all ages can compete. A few other sports, like sharpshooting and equestrian events, also demand skill over youth. All the other sports give a strong advantage to those at the prime age. Mixed curling is possible, and there are even tournaments. The games are tense and exciting, and you don’t need a clock, judge or computer to tell you who is winning.


To keep in shape for gymnastics you have to watch your weight especially for events such as the beam and the bars. Coaches continuously weigh their students as it is vital to be updated on your body mass for the Olympics. Even the slightest change could affect your technique. Without a doubt, technical ability and preparation is very important in gymnastics training.

However, technique can only be applied within the boundaries of physical fitness – be it strength, power or anaerobic capacity. By developing a sport-specific base of strength, power and flexibility, proper technique can be coached and acquired more easily.

The physiological demands of gymnastic events places a heavy burden on anaerobic energy pathways. While energy contributions will differ between different apparatus, this means that strength and power are more important to a gymnast than aerobic endurance.


At the start, some athletes play psychological games such as trying to be last to the starting blocks, although direct intimidation would be considered unsportsmanlike. The starter will keep the sprinters in the set position for an unpredictable time of around two seconds and then fire the starting gun.

The time between the gun and first kick against the starting block is measured electronically, via sensors built in the gun and the blocks. A reaction time less than 0.1 s is considered a false start. The 0.1-second interval accounts for the sum of the time it takes for the sound of the starter’s pistol to reach the runners’ ears, and the time it takes to react to it.

For many years a sprinter was disqualified if responsible for two false starts individually. However, this rule allowed some major races to be restarted so many times that the sprinters started to lose focus. The current rule, introduced in February 2003, is that, after one false start, anyone responsible for a subsequent false start is disqualified immediately. This rule has led to some sprinters deliberately false-starting to gain a psychological advantage: an individual with a slower reaction time might false-start, forcing the faster starters to wait and be sure of hearing the gun for the subsequent start, thereby losing some of their advantage. In order to avoid such abuse, the IAAF will implement a change to the rule from the 2010 season, so that the first false starting athlete is immediately disqualified. This proposal was met with objections when first raised in 2005, on the grounds that it would not leave any room for innocent mistakes. Justin Gatlin commented, “Just a flinch or a leg cramp could cost you a year’s worth of work.”


100 m  is the shortest outdoor sprint race distance in the sport of athletics. The reigning 100 m Olympic champion is often named “the fastest man/woman in the world”. The 200 m record has often been at a faster average speed than the 100 m record.  Sprinters typically reach top speed after somewhere between 50–60 m. Their speed then slows progressively towards the finish line. Maintaining that top speed for as long as possible is a primary focus of training for the 100 m. In the past, athletes in Anglophone countries often competed over 100 yards  instead of 100 m, especially in the United States. This shorter distance is now obsolete. Indoor sprints are often run over 60 m as few facilities have a 100 m indoor straight.


8 Responses to The Events

  1. Ms Easton says:

    “Tussle of the chains” – you’ve left out road cycling and time trialing! Surely the track is the “daddy”?

  2. mike wilkinson says:

    LP amazing work ,very interesting good work

  3. MJ says:

    I really like your entry on wrestling F. You put a lot of detail in to it and it is very interesting to read.

  4. CS says:

    Comment on LP’s blog BMX: You nicked my idea but still a credible blog none the less. This comment is from a fellow blogger.
    But that doesn’t go from the fact that you nicked my idea.

  5. MJ says:

    Your entry on BMX is good L. I didn’t know anything about the sport before,(apart from the fact they race on BMXs), but now i know a good bit more, thanks.

  6. MJ says:

    There is a lot of info in there P. Good detail, and a good read.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s