The Beginning of the Olympics!

One thing that the Ancient Greeks were known for was the creation of the Olympic Games! The Olympics were a series of sporting events that were designed so that the men of Ancient Greece could showcase their athletic skills. The Olympics began with just one event, a sprint called a stade that was the length of the stadium! Eventually they began to add chariot racing, boxing, wrestling, throwing events (like discus and javelin), and horseback racing. There was even an event called the pentathlon that combined wrestling, running, throwing, and jumping. The hoplitodromos was also introduced, which was a race where the contestants were dressed in full armor. The games were incredibly competitive! Let’s showcase your competition and see if you can find some of the words from these events!

The Olympic games were named after the city in Greece where they were held, Olympia! They were a competition designed to honor the Greek god, Zeus (who we will learn more about tomorrow!). Before the Olympics could start, a truce was declared between all the smaller kingdoms so they cold all compete together. These men competed for an olive wreath, which was basically a crown made of olive leaves! Unfortunately, the Olympic Games were only for men, and married women were not even allowed to watch the competition! Can you finish the worksheet below to show what you know about the ancient Olympics?

The Ancient Greeks had a lot of very important beliefs about the Olympic Games. One of those beliefs was that the sun ignited a flame, called the Olympic Torch, that burned for the entire time that the Olympics were happening. Even in our modern lives, the Olympic Games continue to happen! Every 4 years, the summer Olympics take place, and the Olympic Torch is still used as a symbol to start the Olympics! The Olympics were supposed to happen this summer, but just like you and me, the athletes were asked to stay home, so they couldn’t train and the Olympics were rescheduled to next summer. Would you like to have your own Olympic games? Well, before we do that, you need to light your Olympic Torch! Following the instructions here, you can signal the beginning of your own Olympic Games!

Now, since we are all being asked to stay at home (and the weather hasn’t been very great!), you can create your very own Olympic Games inside! If you’ve got some balloons or balls, you can host your own events thanks to these Balloon Olympics Ideas! Not only does this provide ideas for events the Ancient Greeks would have done, like races, but it also includes some ideas that we see in our modern Olympics, like volleyball and basketball! I’m sure you will have tons of fun as you compete with mom, dad, sister, brother, the dog, or yourself! Be sure to tell me which events you competed in in the comments below!

Now it wouldn’t be a complete Olympics without an olive wreath winner! I think that you are all winners in my book, so I am hoping that you will all head over to I Can Teach My Child to make your own Olympic winner wreaths!

Now that you know all about the ancient Olympics, I would like you to know something really cool about our modern Olympics. The Olympics are symbolized by 5 interlocking rings. (You will see them if you watch the Olympics next summer!) Each of those rings represents the continents that come to compete at the Olympics: Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia, and Australia. And the colors of the rings and the white background are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the time when the symbol was created. The Olympics are designed to bring the world together to cheer on the best athletes. Can you color the rings below according to the chart to find out what the colors of the rings are?

As I have already told you, I think that you are all winners! I think that because you keep coming back to learn more and more! Our modern Olympic winners don’t receive an olive wreath anymore, but they still get something. They get a medal! And because I think you are all winners, why don’t you grab mom or dad, click here, and make some Olympic medals that you can eat! And be sure to come back tomorrow for “Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Athena, Ares, Artemis… Sheesh! And there’s more!”

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