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Introduction No one can say when sports began Since it is difficult to imagine a time when children did not spontaneously run races or wrestle it is clear that children have always included sports in their play but one can only speculate about the emergence of sports as autotelic physical contests for adults Some historians see modern sport as distinctive in its secularism and its concern with quantification and records but others see ancient and modern sport as part of a continuum an enduring heritage Whether sport is modern or timeless great athletes have always understood effort and agony The great place in the sport competitions took the Olympic Games Vinnichuk 217 According to mythology the Olympics were founded by King Pelops after he defeated Oinomaos king of Pisa in a chariot race For his victory Pelops won the princess Hippodameia as his wife In thanksiving he founded the games to honor ZeusEncyclopedia BRITANNICA Although the number of events of Olympia remained limited local athletic festivals offered a vast array of competitions in male beauty dancing in armor chariot dismounting torch racing team events and more Epigraphic studies such as the publication of new victor lists from the Panathenaic Games at Athens and numerous inscriptions recording contests in Hellenistic and Roman times from Alexandria to Aphrodisias continue to reveal more about games beyond Olympia The inscriptions reflect the proliferation of prizes honors and festivals throughout the Mediterranean Some new games were modeled on Olympia but Olympia and the other panhellenic games remaineda the most revered Finally historians and inscriptions record gifts of money and buildings and the patronage of Olympia and athletes by such famous figures as Herod king of Judaea and Roman emperors including Hadrian Vinnichuk 233 Olympic games The ancient Olympics were rather different from the modern Games There were fewer events and only free men who spoke Greek could compete instead of athletes from any country Also the
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