A Look Back at the Ancient Olympic Games - How Did It All Start?

By Halal Trip | 03, Aug, 2016
A Look Back at the Ancient Olympic Games - How Did It All Start?

When were the first Olympic Games held? 

According to Ancient Olympic Games history, the Olympic Games first started in Olympia near the city of Elis around 776 BC as part of a religious festival to honor the king of Greek Gods, Zeus. Spectators and participants from all parts of Greece came to Olympia for this special event.This Olympics were considered as a very important event that symbolized unity and honor to the Greeks. However, only men, boys and unmarried women were allowed to attend and watch the games, while married women were forbidden from doing so and were punished by death if caught. The games were supposed to have ended around 393 AD according to historical finds.

How often were the first Olympic Games held? 

Just like today, they were held every four years.

Who took part in the Ancient Olympic Games?

Only free Greek males were allowed to participate in sporting events regardless of their social status. Married women were not allowed to watch or participate but they were allowed to own horses that took part in the chariot races. However, unmarried women had their own festival every four years in Olympia in honor of the goddess Hera.

Ancient Olympic Games facts


Due to Greece’s involvements in wars, a sacred Olympic truce was held for a month during every game so that people could travel to Olympia safely.

The main stadium was large enough to hold at least 450000 people. Tents and entertainment would be set up around the stadium since inns and shelters were general full.

Athletes caught cheating had to pay for a bronze statue of Zeus.

The prizes included woolen ribbons, a crown of olive branches, vats of olive oil and large sums of money.

Greek sculptors would sculpt statues of the winners in their honor.

What sports were played in ancient Greece?

 There were twenty sports that took place during the Olympic gamesin Ancient Greece. Some of the major sporting events are listed below.

Chariot races

Foot races

Hoplitodromos - racing with armor

Discus throwing

Pankration  - combination of boxing and wrestling

Javelin throw

Long Jump


What are the Olympic Games all about?

The Olympic Games has always been a major sporting event with both summer and Winter Olympics bringing together athletes from aroundthe world to compete with each other. The Summer Olympics 2016 will be held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and is one the most watched and highly anticipated sporting events of the year. While the modern Olympics first started in 1896, the event has its historical roots in Ancient Greece. The upcoming Olympic Games 2016 will be seeing Olympic champions as well as new Muslim Olympic athletes making their mark.

Prayer facilities at Rio Olympics 2016

The Mosques in Rio Janeiro includes the Sociedade Beneficente Muçulmana which is also a community centre, and The Mesquita da Luz. Muslim traveler’s can also use the multi faith centre in the athlete’s village which has separate prayer rooms for men and women.

Halal food at Rio Olympics 2016

Brazil is a major exporter of Halal meat, but Halal restaurants in Rio are hard to find.Muslims traveling to the Rio Olympicscan ask restaurant staff if the food is Halal and contains no pork or alcohol.Ordering vegetarian or seafood items on the menu is a better option if you are not sure. Muslim travelers can get more information from the Sociedade Beneficente Muçulmana.