Greatest athletes of the Ancient World

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World

The Olympic Games were in the Ancient World, much like nowadays, a chance for extraordinary athletes to overcome their limits and prove the world their actual value and skills in various trials. Ancient authors like Pindar and Pausanias wrote about the Olympian’s achievements, these individuals becoming sporting legends whose fame and popularity overcame time and are still renowned and well-known by present day athletes and not only.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Milo of Croton

Milo of Croton had been and Olympic wrestler victor numerous times during his approximately 30-year career. Besides his impressive and intimidating size and appearance, he had perfect technique and skills. And no one expected less, given that he was said to consume more than 8 kg of meat on a daily basis. And to top it all off, he was also a musician and a poet, and one of Pythagoras students.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Theagenes of Thasos

Theagenes of Thasos was among the Ancient World’s first celebrities. He managed to become the one of the greatest athletes, being a popular and skilled boxer, pankratiast and runner. He achieved several Olympic titles and a multitude of honors in other sports and games, being said that he had won over 1.400 competitions and contests.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Diagoras of Rhodes

Diagoras of Rhodes was renowned both because of his athletic skills and especially due to his family, who was considered one of the greatest sporting families of the Ancient World. He was the champion of the boxing event of the Olympics Games in 464 B.C. and also won the Isthmian Games four times.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Chionis of Sparta

Chionis of Sparta was another Olympian of the Ancient World who stood out due to his long-jumping records. His best record was at the Olympics of 656 B.C. when he managed to jump 7 m and 5 cm. He also manage to set another record through his triple jump of 15.85 m.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Melankomas

Handsome Ancient Olympic boxer, Melankomas, originating in Caria, was an original boxing champion, undefeated throughout his entire career. His style was original in the sense that he never hit, not let himself be hit by his opponent. His entire tactic was based on confusing the boxing partner until he lost his temper and got frustrated, and could keep doing this for an entire day.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Onomastos of Smyrna

Onomastos of Smyrna was the very first Olympic champion in boxing, in 688 B.C. when this sport was included in the trials. Besides this, he was also the one who wrote the rules of Ancient Greek boxing and one of his records is still impressive nowadays, being the boxer with the most Olympic boxing titles.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Polydamas of Skotoussa

Although there is little information preserved about Polydamas of Skotoussa, regarding his Olympic achievements, there are records of his non-athletic experiences such as bare-handedly killing a lion on Mount Olympus, single-handedly stop a fast-moving chariot or killing three Persian “Immortals” in just one fight. His death is rather tragic though, as a cave he and his friends were resting in, collapsed over them, and in an attempt to support the falling structure and save the others, he was crushed to death.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Cynisca of Sparta

Cynisca of Sparta was the first woman to ever win at the Olympic Games, in 396 B.C. and later on in 392 B.C. in the four-horse chariot race. Although a few women also participated in the Olympic Games before her, through her great victory she managed to pave the way for future female champions, also becoming a symbol of gender equality.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Varazdat

Varazdat was an Armenian athlete, victor of the boxing tournament during the 291st Olympic Games. Due to his rigorous training, he managed to win several boxing competitions in Greece, his achievements culminating with his Olympic title in 385. Armenian historiographer, Movses Chorenatsy wrote about Varazdat in his work entitled Armenian History.

Greatest athletes of the Ancient World Orsippus of Megara

Orsippus of Megara, an ancient Greek athlete, won the stadium race becoming victor in the 15th edition of the Ancient Olympic games of 720 B.C. Pausanias, the equivalent of a modern sports journalist wrote about him and his achievement, especially because Orsippus of Megara was the first to ever run a marathon naked.



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