Friday, October 16, 2009

Cat's, Olympia

Olympia on the Pelopenisian peninsula was the site of the original Olympic games. They began in the 700's BC and were held every 4 years continually until 4th century AD when they were discontinued by a Christian big shot because they were pagan in origin. Below are ruins of a training facility.

This arch is what remains of the entrance to the stadium. Only the 20 finalists were allowed to enter by this tunnel.

The photo below shows the original Olympic stadium. It was used mainly for running events. The initial event was running almost the full length of the stadium, or "one stadia", a distance of 197.2 meters. Stadia became a unit of measure, and distances came to be measured in stadia. This photo was taken from field level.

This next photo is taken from the top of the bowl of the stadium looking towards where the athletes entered. This stadium is the prototype of most track and field as well as football stadiums. The slant of the sides where the spectators were is not very steep; the older U.S. stadiums, such as the Colisseum in Los Angeles are relatively shallow bowls as well. Steeper sides give a better view of the field.

The photo below is of the starting line. There are two, both still intact, one at each end of the stadium. It is marble with places for twenty athletes. There are two grooves to dog your toes into. Athletes participated naked without shoes, men only. Women were also not permitted to be spectators.

Anyone caught cheating was banned forever from participating in the games. He also had to give a statue of one of the gods to the Olympics, which was placed on a pedestal just outside the tunnel leading to the stadium. On the pedestal wass engraved his name, his father's name and the village from whence he came. Alittle reminder to the athletes as they entered the stadium.

This statue is in the Olympia museum. Isn't he a handsome devil?

The name of the port near Olympia is Katakolon. I was sure we were going to see a dissection of a cat's colon, but no such luck.


  1. That handsome devil must have spent time living among the birds. Then perhaps, after a time, he took up keeping well-stocked bird feeders in his backyard. But that's just a guess.