Wednesday, December 1

What if athletes were to participate naked in the Olympics again as they did in Ancient Greece


Statue of a naked athlete

Image source, Getty Images

Caption,

The nude competition was very popular in Ancient Greece, seen as a tribute to the gods

Ancient Greek legend has it that in 720 BC, an Olympian named Orsippus of Megara was competing in the 185-meter race when his loincloth fell off. Instead of stopping to cover his parts, Orsippus kept running and won the race.

His triumphant example remained in time. And nude athletic competition, often emphasized with the generous anointing of olive oil, became all the rage in Greece, seen as the ultimate tribute to Zeus.

“There was the idea that Orsippus was heroic and victorious, and then the celebration because he was naked,” says Sarah Bond, associate professor of history at the University of Iowa.

“For the Greeks, walking naked became a way of recognizing its civility and customs“.


www.bbc.com

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