Seven Sports in the Ancient Olympic Games

7. Equestrian

Horse racing took place in a hippodrome, a large stadium that contained a racetrack very much like today's track and field ovals. The athletes would ride in war chariots that were fitted to either two or four horses. (Even with four horses, only one man rode in the chariot.) The races numbered three, eight, or 12 times around, depending on the age of the horse.


6. Running

The running races were usually very popular. The three distances were 200 meters, 400 meters, and a long-distance race, which ranged from 1400 to 1800 meters. Various running races took place, including one in which athletes wore armor. In every case, the winner was the one who crossed the finish line first.

5. Boxing

Those who boxed wore a sort of glove made of straps of soft ox-hide. They didn't fight people of similar weight; opponents were chosen at random. Boxing matches had no time limit and ended only when one boxer held up his hand or fell to the ground.


Numbers 4–2

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David White