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Long ago ancient Greeks often were at war. Small states suffered greatly even if they didn’t take part in the war. The ruler of such a small state, Elis, didn’t participate in the war and was recognized a neutral state thanks to his diplomatic abilities. To celebrate this achievement he organized athletic games. During Olympic Games states couldn’t be at war. The games were held every four years in Olympia on the territory of Elis. The first games which later were called the Olympic Games were held about a thousand years ago before our era.
Best athletes arrived from many Greek states to Olympia to compete in running, long jumps, throwing of discus, javelin and wrestling. Later on fist fighting (boxing) and chariot races were also included in the Games. Winners of the Olympic Games were called “ olympionics ” and awarded olive wreaths and cups of olive oil. In the Olympic Games women were not allowed even to watch competitions at the stadium under the fear of death penalty.
The Olympic Games had been held for about eleven hundred years until the emperor Theodosius banned them for religious reasons in 394 A.D. Only in 1894 the Olympic Games were revived and the International Olympic Committee was organized. The first Olympic Games of the modern times were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece.
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