The Juuxtaposition Between The Greek And The Panathenaic Games

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Greece is a country full of the juxtaposition between the classic and the new. In Athens, cars, busses and motorcycles fill the winding streets lined with statues of antiquity. Modern museums full of ancient artifacts rest under the Acropolis. The Parthenon, as ancient as it is, is under construction, with large cranes and scaffolding surrounding it. While there is a conflict between the classic and modern, the new often looks to the ancient for inspiration, which can easily be seen when comparing the ancient Olympic Games to the modern Olympic Games, as well as when looking at the history of the Panathenaic Stadium.
The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. Athletes from 14 countries competed in 43 events. Of these events,
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In fact, the ancient games have very less in common with the modern Games than one may think. For example, many literary traditions say that there was only one event for the first 13 Olympic Games, the Stadion Race, a foot race of only 600 feet. The winner of the first Olympic Stadion was Koroibos, a cook from the nearby city of Elis. Athletes also competed naked, although it is not sure if it was that way from the beginning, or nudity was introduced by the Spartans later on. All that is known for certain is that by the late 8th century, nudity during the games was commonplace (“The Games”). Another difference was the lack of women in the ancient Olympics, in competition and as audience members, although young girls were allowed (Cartwright,…show more content…
One myth on the origins of the Games state that Zeus stated the Olympics to commemorate his defeat of Kronos. In actuality first Games were held during a festival to honor Zeus (Cartwright, 2013). The revival of the Olympics in 1896 can be seen as a way to honor ancient Greece and ancient Greek traditions. Both times the Games were motivated by giving honor to what was important, in one case, a god, in the other, ancient tradition. Another similarity between the ancient and the modern Games is the reason for competing. In both cases, winning the games means bringing glory and fame to oneself, as well as one’s home, in ancient times, one’s city, modern, one’s country. Another striking similarity is the presence of opening ceremonies. During the modern Games, the host country puts on the opening ceremony which according to Olympic protocol includes a cultural show and ends with a procession of all competing athletes by country, and the lighting of the Olympic Torch. During the procession of athletes, according to tradition the Greek team is always first, followed by the rest in alphabetical order according to the host country’s language, while the host country’s team is last. The opening ceremonies of the ancient Games involved a procession from Elis to Olympia, led by the judges, and upon arrival, all involved parties swore an oath to follow all rules and compete with honor and respect (Cartwright,
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