The Ancient Greek Olympics for Kids and Teachers Illustration

The Ancient Greek Olympics for Kids

The first Olympics games are usually given the start year of 776 BCE, but they probably began even sooner.  The ancient Greeks loved competitions of all sorts, especially sporting competitions. The Olympics were not the only competition games held in ancient Greece, but they were the most popular.

Once the Olympics began, the Olympic competition was held once every four years for the next 1000 years! The games were held in honor of the mighty god, Zeus, king of all the gods. The games were held in the city-state of Olympia. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Athletics games to compete in the Olympics from all over the Mediterranean. The only requirements were that the athletic was Greek, male, and naked.

At first, the games were made up of foot races. But other sports were gradually added. Besides the foot races, there were boxing and wrestling matches, discus and javelin throwing, and chariot races. Other sports were added as well.

The Greeks took the Olympic games quite seriously. Nearly all the ancient Greek cities sent teams to participate in the ancient Greek Olympics. If two or more Greek city-states happen to be at war with each other when the game date arrived, war was halted for the duration of the games.

Women were not allowed to attend the games because men did not wear clothes when they competed in the events.

Everyone wanted their city-state to win! There was a winner of each competition at the games. All the winner won at the games was a crown made of leaves to wear on his head.  When the winning athletics returned home to their city-state, they were treated like superstars!

The Hercules Detective Agency, Case File: Olympic Team Herc

How did the Olympic Games begin?

Story of the Olympic Games (British Museum)

A Humorous Look at Five Ancient Greek City-States Contestants as they prepare to represent their city-state at the ancient Greek Olympic Games - Athens, Sparta, Megara, Corinth, Argos (scroll down to find your city-state)

The Origins of the Olympics (Ted-Ed, animated, video)

Ancient Olympic Games - compare and constrast, interactive worksheet

Ancient Olympics compared to Modern Olympics - and more

The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games

QUIZ: Ancient Greek Olympics (Interactive with answers)