The History of Track and Field Essay

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Track and Field events, also known as athletics, have progressed a great deal since their birth in Olympus, around the ninth century B.C. More athletes and more nationalities compete in Track and Field than in any other Olympic sport. Athletics is one of the largest attractions at the Modern Olympics, drawing in huge crowds of spectators and creating interest at summer Olympics. Track and Field events have come a long way since the Ancient Greek Olympic games. Many events and techniques have been revised, added, or eliminated since the original Greek Olympics. The Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius” is describing the Track and Field events in Latin. The Latin means “ Faster (Swifter), Higher, Stronger,” and indicates the running …show more content…
This has changed greatly in the modern Olympics. The winner of these Ancient Olympic races would be rewarded with an olive branch crown. Another type of footrace, called the hoplite, was introduced rather late in the history of the Ancient Olympics. The race was of about two “stades” undertaken while wearing battle armor composed of round shields and plumed helmets. Racing over hurdles was not at all part of the Greeks’ knowledge during the Ancient Olympics. It was established later in the modern Olympic trials.
Another Track and Field event is the long jump. This event differed very greatly from the jumping we see today. The jumpers would have a running start and be holding weights in their hands for momentum purposes. The use of the weights, which were swung about during the run and jump, caused the jumper to have a much larger distance than the athletes of the modern Olympics. In fact, the ancient jumping events are highly controversial because of the ludicrous records found about the distance of the jumps in ancient Greece. One record states that a contestant jumped 55 feet. The modern record for the running long jump is near 30 feet and it seems to many track and field experts that it would be quite impossible for anyone to jump 55 feet, even with the help of an impetus. Some history experts’ claim that the Greeks used a system…