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The timeline of hosts for the Olympics

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Check out cool archive footage from the Olympics!

The ancient Olympic Games were the great Greek religious, athletic, and cultural festivals that inspired the creation of the modern Olympic Games. The earliest documentation of the ancient Games traces the efforts of King Iphitos of Elis, around 824 B.C., to establish a "sacred truce" through the conduct of Games "dear to the gods." From 776 B.C., these Games took place every four years.

The ancient Games were sacred events. Athletes from all Greek city-states joined the festivals at Olympia. Like the modern Games, the ancient Games were marked by solemn opening and closing ceremonies. The "sacred truce" beginning the first known Games read, "May the world be delivered from crime and killing and freed from the clash of arms." The intent was for warring city-states to lay down their arms for the period of the Games so that athletes could compete in peace.
The program of competitive events in the ancient Games evolved over time. Among the sports contested were the foot race, wrestling, boxing, pankration, the pentathlon, and chariot races. The first recorded winner was the runner Koroibos.
Only men were permitted to take part in the Olympic Games. Women were forbidden to compete or be spectators at the ancient Olympic Games under penalty of death. The only female allowed in Olympia was the high priestess of the goddess Demeter. Women in ancient Greece, did, however, participate in festivals of their own. Exclusively female Games, held in honor of the goddess Hera, were held at regular intervals.
The ancient Olympic Games are known to have existed for 12 centuries. The symbolic power of the Games lived on after their demise in 394 A.D., and came to life again as the modern Olympic Games.

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The history of NZ at the Olympics