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The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC at Olympia hence the name Olympics There is a common confusion about the name Of Olympia The Greeks gods lived on Mount Olympus argued peak in Thessaly in Northern Greece The sanctuary of Olympia where the Games were held lies in Southern Greece in the claw shaped peninsula known as the Peloponnesus Olympias name echoes the mountains to emphasize its sanctity Perrottet 2004 p8 For five hectic days and nights Olympia was the undisputed capital of the world and visitors hardly knew where to turn first There was sacred sightseeing to be done the sanctuary of Olympia was an open air museum and visitors rushed between events from temple to temple Perrottet 2004 p11 This is considered the first Olympics because it was the first time it was nationally organized amongst the independent Greek nations The true purpose of the ancient Olympics was to honor their gods especially Zeus and compete for the love of physical exercise By the first full moon after the summer solstice thirty days before the games began every athlete who wanted to compete in the Olympics was obligated to register personally before the judges in the city of Elis It was this host city rather than the sanctuary of Olympia that became the original Olympic Village There an invasion of hopefuls was forced to train together in isolation throughout the midsummer Perrottet 2004 p47 The ancient Greeks believed that the Olympics symbolized a gathering together and celebration of what was great about Greece To recapture the allure of the ancient Olympics we have to realize that sports were only one part of the festival The games were actually the ultimate pagan entertainment package where every human diversion could be found at once on and off the field Perrottet 2004 p11 At the time Greece was the most powerful nation in the world rivaled by no other They had the most dominant
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