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Introduction Today the Olympic Games are the worlds largest pageant of athletic skill and competitive spirit They are also displays of nationalism commerce and politics Well-known throughout the world the games have been used to promote understanding and friendship among nations but have also been a hotbed of political disputes and boycotts The Olympic games started thousands of years ago and lasted over a millennium The symbolic power of the Games lived on after their demise and came to life again as the modern Olympic Games being revived in the last century Both the modern and Ancient Olympics have close similarities in there purpose and in there problems Ancient Olympics The ancient Olympics had some differences from the modern Games There were fewer events and only free men who spoke Greek could compete instead of athletes from any country Women where not allowed to even watch the games on penalty of death let alone play in them Also the games were always held at Olympia in Greece instead of being moved around to different sites every time But also they had some similarities to our modern Olympics winning athletes were heroes who put their home towns on the map and became financially sound for life The conflict between the Olympics ideals of sportsmanship and unity and the commercialism and political acts which accompany the Games where also present in ancient times Sotades at the ninety-ninth Festival was victorious in the long race and proclaimed a Cretan as in fact he was But at the next Festival he made himself an Ephesian being bribed to do so by the Ephesian people For this act he was banished by the Cretans The first Olympic games at Olympia were held in 776 BC According to Hippias of Elis who compiled a list of Olympic victors c400 BC the only event held at the first Olympics was the stadion footrace Scholars have speculated that the games
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