This summer I sprinted in the Olympic stadium and stood on the winner’s podium. No, I’m not dreaming. One of the ports of call on my Mediterranean cruise was Katakolon, Greece which is a short bus ride from Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games which first took place in 776 BCE. I was fascinated by the archeological ruins as well as by the history and Greek mythology.
The ancient Olympics began as a religious festival in honour of Zeus, the legendary king of the Greek gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus. Opening ceremonies included animal sacrifices. Only Greek-born males were allowed to compete. Unmarried females participated in foot races in a separate festival to honour Hera, the wife of Zeus. [Read more…]