The Olympic Games
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The Olympic Games were held every four years at midsummer. They lasted for a whole month; and during this time, warfare among the city states stopped, as a sign of respect for Zeus. Tens of thousands of men came from all parts of Greece, either to watch or to participate in the Games. Women, however, were not allowed to attend. During the first day of the Olympic Games religious ceremonies were held. There was a grand procession and offerings and sacrifices were made to Zeus. The next day, here in the stadium the events began There were foot races, wrestling contests, and boxing matches, to name just a few. Besides these events, horse races and chariot races were held in the Olympic race court next to the stadium. For prizes, instead of the bronze, silver and gold medals of today, the winners of the ancient Olympic Games were crowned with wreaths made from the branches of Zeus’s sacred olive trees. In Greece, this simple ceremony was considered the greatest honour a man could ever receive.
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