The Olympic Movement arose in Ancient Greece. For many years the most ancient sports competitions were held in the territory of Olympia – the city which presented the name to the sports festival which still is one of the most significant and interesting events for people of all planet.
The first Olympic Games were held in Olympia in 776 BC. This date remained thanks to custom of ancient Greeks up to now to engrave names of Olympic champions (they were called then Olympians) on marble columns which were established on the river bank Alphaeus. Marble kept not only date, but also the name of the first winner. Koreb – the cook from Elida was it. The first 13 games assumed only one type of competitions – run on one stages. According to the Greek myth, this distance was measured by Heracles, and it was equal to 192.27 m. From there was also all the known word "stadium". Originally athletes from two cities – Elisa and Pisa participated in games. But soon they gained the huge popularity which extended to all Greek states. At the same time there was one more remarkable tradition: throughout all Olympic Games which duration constantly increased there came "sacred truce" for all battling armies.
Not each athlete could become the participant of games. The law forbade to compete at the Olympic Games to slaves and barbarians, i.e. foreigners. Athletes from among freeborn Greeks had to register at referees one year prior to opening of competitions. Just before opening of the Olympic Games they had to produce the evidence that they within, at least, ten months prepared for competitions, keeping sportswear daily exercises. Only for winners of the previous Olympic Games the exception became. The announcement of the upcoming Olympic Games caused the extraordinary stir among male population of all Greece. People crowds went to Olympia. However, to women it was forbidden to be present at games on pain of the death penalty.
Gradually all new and new sports were added to the program of games. In 724 BC to run on one stages (stadiodry) increased diaul – run on the distance of 384.54 m, in 720 BC – dolikhodry or run on the 24th the stage. In 708 the program of the Olympic Games included the pentathlon consisting of run, long jumps, fight, discus throw and the spear. Then there took place the first competitions on fight. In 688 the program of the Olympic Games included fisticuffs, through two Olympic Games – the competition of chariots, and in 648 – the most cruel type of competitions – the pankration which united methods of fight and fisticuffs. Winners of the Olympic Games were honored as demigods. Throughout all life various honors were done to them, and after the death of the Olympian ranked "small gods" as the assembly. After adoption of Christianity the Olympic Games began to be perceived as one of manifestations of paganism, and in 394 BC the emperor Theodosius I forbade them. The Olympic Movement only at the end of the XIX century, thanks to Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin revived. And, of course, the first revived Olympic Games took place on the Greek earth – in Athens, in 1896.