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Word Count: 1,240
The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC in an outlying province called Ellis located in western Greece Within the province of Ellis there was a sacred valley of Ancient Greece called Olympia This valley was the site of the Olympic Games The games first began as a religious festival for the Greek god Zeus and were held every four years in Olympia The games started on the day after the first full moon following the summer solstice and would then continue for five days Athletes trained for months and some even for years to compete at the games The reward from the games was simply a crown of olive leaves Winning athletes put their city on the map and went down in history as heroes of their city When the athletes returned to their hometowns they were showered with gifts a banquet was held in their honor they received exemption from taxes for life and so on These rewards were not part of the games On the other hand those who returned victorious were treated as failures There were only male competitors in the games unlike in todays modern day Olympics The only people who could compete in the games were free men who spoke the Greek language Although there could not be any female competitors it was possible for a woman to pay for a chariot horses and a racer and win through that way since the winner of the chariot races were the owners of the chariot and horses Most females were not able to attend the games even as spectators anyway because the only females allowed at the games were those who were unmarried From the first games until 724 BC the only event that was held was the stadium-length foot race or stade A stade was about 192 meters After those games they held other competitions which became the basic competitions for the future games They did not
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