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Word Count: 553
The Gift from the Greeks The first Olympic Games were held at Olympia in the Peloponnes The most famous are the games that were held in Olympia in honor of Zeus every four years from August 6th to September 19th Olympics have been a symbol of the camaraderie and harmony possible on a global scale The gathering of athletic representatives from participating governments even throughout the recent Cold War period is proof that world unity is possible It was a gift from the Ancient Greece The Pentathlon consisted of five events the long jump javelin throw discus throw foot race and wrestling The Pentathlons especially the successful ones were often treated and even worshipped like gods Because of their exquisite physiques they were used as the models for statues of the Greek Gods The superior athletic ability of these athletes affects the games even today The twisting and throwing method of the discus throw which originated in Ancient Greece is still used today The original events were even more challenging than those of today The modern discus weighs in at just 5 pounds one-third of the original weight and the long jumps were done with the contestant carrying a five pound weight in each hand The pit to be traversed in this jump allowed for a 50 foot jump compared to just over 29 feet in our modern Olympics Apparently the carried weights used correctly could create momentum to carry the athlete further Legend has it that one Olympian cleared the entire pit by approximately 5 feet breaking both legs as he landed These legends for all their blood sweat and tears were awarded an olive branch from the tree behind the alter of Zeus when they won Fortunately the regions they represented were usually somewhat more grateful for bringing honor home It was not uncommon for the victors to receive free food for life money or other valuable offers They were often worshipped
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