Top 10 Myths in Sports that will Blow Your Mind

The roots of the origins of sport are deeper than we can imagine. Many of the sports we practice today, have been designed in the past and evolved over time. Below, we have 10 historical myths about various types of sports, that were practiced by ancient civilizations.

1) In ancient Greece, sport then called games, occupied a fundamental place in social life and entertainment. On the other hand, there were the gymnasiums, with athleticism, which had become an integral part of the education of young people. With Homer and Hesiod, we came into contact with a society, in which sporting events often appeared in private or public life.

2) Not always, however, the games were played to relax or distract: in fact, most of the time, these moments of entertainment, were closely related to religious ceremonies, such as, for example, the habit of honoring the deceased heroes, with funeral games. According to the various legends, the Olympic Games began in 776 a. C. And they ended in 393 d. C., when they were subsequently abolished by the emperor Theodosius. The Olympic Games were celebrated in honor of the ruler of Olympus, Zeus and took place inside the Sanctuary, precisely, of Olympia.

3) The games, usually, took place every four years in the middle of summer and until the twenty-fourth edition lasted one day. Competitors were supposed to be free Greeks, while barbarians and slaves even prohibited participation in it. Later, it was allowed, even to the Romans to participate.

4) Another type of games during the Greek era, were Pythian games. Pythian games were celebrated in honor of Apollo, to whom the legend attributed the institution, after the killing of the great dragon Python, in the Crissean plain, near Delphi, which was sacred to the god and could not be cultivated, in obedience to an oracle. The games consisted mainly of musical contests, to which they took part, citaredi (zither players), aulets (flute players) and auledi (singers): then also gymnastic and horse races competitions were added.

5) According to legend, the origins of the Nemean Games date back to the time when the city was governed by Lycurgus, perhaps the same Lycurgus legislator of Sparta. Opheltes, son of the king and queen (in other versions of the king and of Ephiny), was sleeping on a bed of parsley leaves, observed by his nurse Ipsipile. The nurse, seeing the seven warriors arrive, traveling from Argo to Thebes, turned away from the prince to bring water to the fighters. During the fateful absence, the child was attacked by a snake, whose bite proved to be fatal. The seven then, having learned of the incident, founded the games in his honor; and to remember the bed on which Opheltes had lost his life, the winner of the games was crowned with a bundle of parsley leaves. A second version of the legend says they were founded by Heracles after defeating the Nemean Lion. The custom of crowning the winners with a crown of parsley was then abandoned, in favor of a crown of celery donated by the city of Argos. Alternatively, one could use an oak or a palm crown.

6) The isthmic games, established in 582 BC in honor of Poseidon and the God Palemone, they took place in a wooded area in the southeast of the isthmus of Corinth and under the supervision of the city of the same name: they included gymnastics, wrestling and horse races. These last ones had a particular importance being the horse the sacred animal to Poseidon. Only in the Hellenistic period, the musical agons were added in a special theater. There were also competitions held at sea, similar to regattas. The winner received a crown of pine needles as a reward. They took place every two years in the first and fourth year of the Olympics, in the period between April and May.

7) The main sports in ancient Rome were: pancreas, fight, boxing, race, the throwing of the javelin, the launch of the disc, and launch of the weight, which had been taken as a model by Greece.

8) The concept of sport in ancient Rome, however, did not reflect the preference of Greek culture for non-professional athletic activities, for agonists, bloodless competitions concerning not only sport but also different fields of human activities, where the winner received a prize for having shown, according to the Greek mentality, his superior physical and moral qualities.

9) Many of today's best sports and games for a fit body were already practiced by the ancient Egyptians. The games were developed in different disciplines and were well organized and regulated, they had a lot of referees to check the correct running of the race and sometimes they were also worn in different uniforms to identify the opposing factions, they were practiced both indoors and outdoors and there were also structures specially designed for the games themselves. 

10) Physical activity was part of their daily life and culture, for some it was just fun, for others a real profession. No one remained immune to the appeal of competition, including rulers, princes and state officials, who were eager to participate in sports competitions well equipped with the necessary equipment. The winners of the sports competitions were rewarded with large special collars that covered the shoulders and chest, the usekhs. Moreover, sports items were given to them as an honor. Despite everything, if the winner of the competition was awarded for his superiority, the loser was honored for his sporting spirit. The fight and the throwing of the javelin were the most popular games, between the two wrestling was probably the favorite, but the competitions were also about archery, certainly swimming and rowing (given the presence of the Nile), was practiced a first form of hockey, and no lack of handball, gymnastics, weightlifting, high jump, long-distance race, tug of war and others. Hunting and fishing also included sports. All disciplines that inevitably evolved into fun activities. Even the children were no less than adults and delighted in the practice of running, in a game of balance, in the fight, in the tug of war and were fascinated, just as happens today to our puppies, from games with the ball that could be very good of the forerunners of our football, basketball and handball.

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