Ancient Olympic Fun Fact 8

2012 is significant in that it is a presidential election year, a leap year, and a summer Olympic year! The modern Olympics, of course, were inspired by the ancient Greek Olympics, a subject I’ve been researching for my work in progress. So in these months leading up to the 2012 London Games, I’ll be posting weekly tidbits about the original athletic festival that started it all.

Here’s this week’s fun fact:

In the event of a tie, the crown went to Zeus.

Ancient judges didn’t have the benefit of video or cameras. The only thing they had to determine the winner of a race was their eyesight. So if a finish was too close to tell, they simply awarded the crown to Zeus, which eliminated any accusations of bias. Sounds like it would really suck for the runners, but they’d be hard-pressed to protest. After all, the race was in the god’s honor.

 Tune in next week for more about the ancient Olympics!


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