much do you know about "athlons?"
- Which Olympic event requires athletes to
fence, shoot a pistol, swim, ride a horse and
run? Think you know? Click here to
check your answer!
- Which "athlon" starts with a .9
mile swim? For help, visit the official
U.S. site for this sport.
- He was known as the "World's Greatest
Athlete" after winning this event in Stockholm
in 1912. Think you know? Find out and read
more about gold medalist Jim
For help, visit the following Web sites:
For many years, the ancient Greeks gathered
in the beautiful Valley of Olympia to offer
sacrifices to their gods, whom they believed
inhabited the top of Mount Olympus. In
time this practice came to include the
games and contests now known as the Olympic
were the Gods of the ancients?
ruler of the sky. He was the most powerful of the gods.
protector of marriage. She was the wife of Zeus.
god of the sea, is second only to his brother Zeus in
goddess of agriculture and fertility. She was
the sister of Zeus and Poseidon.
goddess of the moon, life, children and animals.
god of the sun, was the twin brother of Artemis. Both
helped people, but also punished them when they were
goddess of wisdom. The city of Athens is named after
Athene, its protector.
goddess of love and beauty.
god of speech, he was also the guardian of the gymnastic
games and athletic contests.
god of war. He had such a bad temper, even his parents,
Zeus and Hera, disliked him.
god of fire, was thrown from heaven by his parents, Zeus
god of wine and merrymaking, son of Zeus, was the only
god whose mother was a mortal.
Do you speak Greek?
Maybe not, but many of the words we use today come from Greek words. Do you like
to talk on the telephone? Tele is the Greek word for far away and phono means
sound or voice. Do you enjoy taking photographs? Photo is the Greek
word for light, and graph means written down. Check out some other Greek
word stems and see how many other words you know that have been around
since the time of the first Olympic Games. Want to learn more Greek words? Click here for
an introduction to the ancient Greek language with lessons and quizzes to test
No medals were given in the first
Olympics. An olive wreath was given to the
first place winner, who wore it on his head. No
prizes were given for second or third place
Since 1928, the Olympic medals for the summer
games have had the same design on the front:
the Olympic Rings, a Greek goddess, the coliseum
of ancient Athens, a Greek vase, a horse-drawn
chariot, along with the year, number of the
Olympiad, and name of the host city. The
design on the back varies with each Olympic
Games and they are the responsibility of the
host city's organizing committee. The host
city may also add a detail to the original
This year the medals are getting a new look!
They will feature the Panathinaiko Stadium,
the venue in Athens where the first modern
Olympics were held in 1896. Also, Nike, the
Greek goddess of victory will be standing
with outspread wings, rather than sitting,
as she is in the current design.
Gold medals are no longer made of pure gold.
The medals are sterling silver covered with
a thin coat (.21 ounces) of gold and are 7
centimeters (about 2 inches) in diameter. To
see this year's medal and photographs of the
sites of the summer games, visit www.olympic.org.
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