Women In The Olympic Games

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Introduction The topic of women’s presence on the Olympic Games was highly debatable for a long time and it still is. Even the “father” of the Olympic movement, Pierre de Coubertin was against women’s participation in the Games. Nevertheless, nowadays almost half of the athletes are represented by women and we do have a lot of examples of incredible female Olympic victors in various sports. But what was the attitude towards women in sports on the origin of the modern Games – in Ancient Greece? The main aim of this essay is to explore the extent of women’s presence at the site of Olympia in the period of Games and to identify the possible reasons for the establishment of the detected patterns. To do so firstly some general views on Greek athletics…show more content…
The oldest and the most famous one of them was the competitive festival of Olympic Games, which were held every four years since 776 BC (this date is, however, debated). The Games were a part of the religious festival at the sanctuary of the superior Greek god - Olympian Zeus. Only men could participate in the Games, in the two age categories – boys and men. All the athletes were competing naked. At first the program of the Games included only foot races, but later on other events such as wrestling, boxing, discus and javelin throwing were…show more content…
Nevertheless, we have examples of women winning the Olympic Games. How is it possible? The answer is simple – they did not compete themselves. In the sport of chariot-racing the winner was considered to be not the person who actually drove the chariot, but the owner of the horses, which means that women, if they had enough money, could provide horses for that competition, thus participating indirectly, and become a winner. Kyniska, the daughter of Spartan king Archidamos, was the first female victor on the Olympic Games in the race of tethrippon, and she did win twice – in 396 and 392 BC. Pausanias wrote that she also got a marble statue on the site in Olympia with the following inscription: “Kings of Sparta were my fathers and brothers. Kyniska, victorious at the chariot race with her swift-footed horses, erected this statue. I assert that I am the only woman in all Greece who won this

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