Olympics Historical Documentary: The First Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

" (Toohey, 27) Since then the Olympic Games have gradually grown in international, political, as well as economic significance. The documentary does a good job of comparing the ancient games to the modern games. Since the ancient games had a restricted number of events, the comparisons are made between similar events, and modern events are not mentioned. But the different ways the games were operated are discussed, for instance the discus used in the past was as much as three times the weight of the modern discus. Ancient athletes also were allowed to use weights when performing the long jump, allowing for jumps that were as much as 20 feet longer than the modern record. ("The First Olympics," 20:00-23:00) And the ancient games were performed in the nude, which the documentary explains in detail in order to remove the modern "shock value" of such a discussion.

While the documentary The First Olympics discusses the games, their origins, their rules, and even gives examples of individual ancient athletes, it also delivers a comparison with the modern games. There are distinct differences between the ancient and modern games, not only in the events and rules, but in the overall significance of the games. While modern wars do not stop during the Olympics, ancient warfare was not allowed, upon pain of being restricted from the games. The ancient games had much more social and political significance, and thus winning had a proportional increase in significance and reward as well. Olympic winners in the ancient world were treated like "gods" and remembered for generations, today's winners may look to celebrity endorsements or cable television programs as their reward. However, losing has a much different significance as well, many ancient athletes preferred to die in the games rather than suffer the indignity of losing. Fortunately for modern athletes, losing does not carry such stigma.

Upon reaching the conclusion of the documentary, the view is presented with an excellent examination of the ancient Olympic Games. The modern Olympic games may be more of an economic event, but that is because of the significance of economic concerns to the modern world. The athletes, however, still compete for prestige and bragging rights and winners still get rewards. Despite the many differences between the ancient and modern games presented in The First Olympics, the games are really not so different from each other.

Works Cited

"London 2010 Summer Olympics Games Bid.: Gamesbid.com. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.

http://www.gamesbids.com/english/bids/london.shtml

Toohey, Kristine, and Anthony James Veal. The Olympic Games: A Social Studies

Perspective. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Pub., 2007. Print.

Swaddling, Judith. The Ancient Olympic Games. London: British Museum, 2004. Print.

Instone, Stephen. "BBC - History - Ancient History in Depth: The Olympics: Ancient

versus…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

"London 2010 Summer Olympics Games Bid.: Gamesbid.com. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.

http://www.gamesbids.com/english/bids/london.shtml

Toohey, Kristine, and Anthony James Veal. The Olympic Games: A Social Studies

Perspective. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Pub., 2007. Print.

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