Ancient Olympic Fun Fact 22

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:

The distinction between boys/men and colts/horses was not solely age based.

The ancient Games didn’t have weight divisions for their wrestling/boxing/pankration events, but as you’ve gathered from the previous installment, there were separate events for boys and men. It’s uncertain what the age cutoff was, but even if a youth was technically a boy, he could wind up in the men’s event if the Judges thought he was too well-developed to compete with his scrawnier peers. In fact, one of the Judges’ tasks during the month-long Olympic qualifiers was to determine what classifications young entrants fell in.

Tune in next week for more about the ancient Olympics!


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