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Home > teachers > Ancient Civilisations  > 2004 Olympics Kick Off In Athens
 

2004 Olympics Kick Off In Athens

August 13 2004

Why have the Greeks been frantically building, painting, cleaning and planning for the last seven years? Why will an estimated four billion people around the world be watching telly this evening?

Shows a photo of the side of a vase from Ancient Greece, showing a man running in a race.

Photo: on your marks... GO! An Ancient Greek runner races for the finish line.

Courtesy of the British Museum.

Yep, tonight the 2004 Olympic Games begin. For the next two weeks the world will be watching as more than 10,000 athletes from 202 countries battle it out to win a gold medal.

Back in 776BC, over 2,500 years ago, the very first Olympic Games were held in Ancient Greece, at Olympia. The British Museum has created an online guide to those Ancient Games at Olympia.

Check it out - suddenly the modern games make much more sense when you see where they began.

Photo: no, he's not helping to load the dishwasher - this Ancient Greek athlete is about to throw the discus!

Courtesy of the British Museum.

Shows a statue of a discus thrower from Ancient Greece.

The British Museum is home to all sorts of ancient, sporty treasures. Find out more in their Children's Compass Sport in Ancient Greece website.

The sites's full of amazing facts. Did you know, for instance, that athletes in the ancient games would compete naked, but coated in olive oil? Sounds like a recipe for sunburn to us.

If you can make it to the museum itself, they've got an Olympics exhibition on in their Great Court until 12 September.

Shows a drawing of a man in a tunic racing a chariot, pulled by two white horses. In the background is a cheering crowd.

Photo: hard work for the horses - the Ancient Greeks loved the excitement of a good chariot race.

Copyright www.athens2004.com

The official website of the 2004 Games is worth a look too. They've got an online guide of their own to the History of the Ancient Games (see the picture above).

Warning with that site though - it does take a little while to load onto your computer if you don't have broadband, but is well worth the wait. If you have speakers, make sure they're switched on too.

So, you've got all you need to find out about the history - let the 2004 Games begin!

Anra Kennedy