Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete or consecutively, with one winner; some sports allow a "tie" or "draw". A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs. Sport is recognised as system of activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, other organisations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports.
However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, draughts, Go and xiangqi, limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports. Sport is governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be crossing a line first, it can be determined by judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression. Records of performance are kept, for popular sports, this information may be announced or reported in sport news. Sport is a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sport drawing large crowds to sport venues, reaching wider audiences through broadcasting.
Sport betting is in some cases regulated, in some cases is central to the sport. According to A. T. Kearney, a consultancy, the global sporting industry is worth up to $620 billion as of 2013; the world's most accessible and practised sport is running, while association football is its most popular spectator sport. The word "sport" comes from the Old French desport meaning "leisure", with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being "anything humans find amusing or entertaining". Other meanings include. Roget's defines the noun sport as an "activity engaged in for relaxation and amusement" with synonyms including diversion and recreation; the singular term "sport" is used in most English dialects to describe the overall concept, with "sports" used to describe multiple activities. American English uses "sports" for both terms; the precise definition of what separates a sport from other leisure activities varies between sources. The closest to an international agreement on a definition is provided by SportAccord, the association for all the largest international sports federations, is therefore the de facto representative of international sport.
SportAccord uses the following criteria, determining that a sport should: have an element of competition be in no way harmful to any living creature not rely on equipment provided by a single supplier not rely on any "luck" element designed into the sport. They recognise that sport can be physical mind, predominantly motorised co-ordination, or animal-supported; the inclusion of mind sports within sport definitions has not been universally accepted, leading to legal challenges from governing bodies in regards to being denied funding available to sports. Whilst SportAccord recognises a small number of mind sports, it is not open to admitting any further mind sports. There has been an increase in the application of the term "sport" to a wider set of non-physical challenges such as video games called esports due to the large scale of participation and organised competition, but these are not recognised by mainstream sports organisations. According to Council of Europe, European Sports Charter, article 2.i, "'Sport' means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels."
There are opposing views on the necessity of competition as a defining element of a sport, with all professional sport involving competition, governing bodies requiring competition as a prerequisite of recognition by the International Olympic Committee or SportAccord. Other bodies advocate widening the definition of sport to include all physical activity. For instance, the Council of Eu
Schladming is a small former mining town in the northwest of the Austrian state of Styria, now a popular tourist destination. It has become a large winter-sports resort and has held various skiing competitions, including most notably the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 1982 and the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2013; the shopping area has many cafes and restaurants, a variety of shops that cater to tourists. The local peak for winter sports is the Planai. A six-seater cable car with a middle station takes tourists up the mountain; the Planai consists of many "red" and "black" slopes for competitive skiers, many "blue" slopes for beginners, but the Planai is an intermediate to expert mountain. The Hochwurzen is the other mountain in Schladming, it has three main red runs off a sledge run. This mountain is better suited to more experienced skiers. A 15-man cable car can take groups of up to five to the top; the surrounding mountains are popular with country lovers. In the summer, downhill toboggan runs and an outdoor swimming complex are open.
The UCI Mountainbike Worldcup has taken place in Schladming since 2004. In 2010, the Mountainbike Worldcup in Schladming was relocated to Leogang due to construction work taking place for the Ski World Championships in 2013; the first official mention of the settlement on the site of today's Schladming dates back to 1180. First name of the town was Slaebnich, of Slavic origin. In the early and high middle ages, the place, like the whole of Styria, belonged to the settlement of the Alpine Slavs and was part of the Slavic principality of Carantania. During the period of German colonization, the place acquired a Germanic character, although many Slavic elements were preserved in culture and language. A bus service surrounding mountains throughout the year. Many ski lifts are on the mountains, some catering for small runs. Since 1973, the Planai has been a regular location for Alpine Ski World Cup races. Since 1997, the race has been called a "Nightrace". In 1982 and 2013, Schladming hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships.
In March 2017, Schladming was one of the host towns of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Styria, together with nearby Ramsau am Dachstein and Graz. Felletin, France since 1960 Wetzlar, Germany since 1974 Furano, Japan since 1977 Media related to Schladming at Wikimedia Commons Schladming travel guide from Wikivoyage Schladming Mountainbike Worldcup in Schladming Pictures of Schladming Everything about Schladming in one place Mountainbike guiding
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Paralympics is a major international multi-sport event involving athletes with a range of disabilities, including impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, ataxia, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, are held immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee; the Paralympics has grown from a small gathering of British World War II veterans in 1948 to become one of the largest international sporting events by the early 21st century. The Paralympics has grown from 400 athletes with a disability from 23 countries in 1960 to thousands of competitors from over 100 countries in the London 2012 Games. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non-disabled Olympic athletes, but there is a large funding gap between Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
The Paralympic Games are organized in parallel with the Olympic Games, while the IOC-recognized Special Olympics World Games include athletes with intellectual disabilities, the Deaflympics include deaf athletes. Given the wide variety of disabilities that Paralympic athletes have, there are several categories in which the athletes compete; the allowable disabilities are broken down into ten eligible impairment types. The categories are impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, ataxia, vision impairment and intellectual impairment; these categories are further broken down into classifications. Athletes with disabilities did compete in the Olympic Games prior to the advent of the Paralympics; the first athlete to do so was German American gymnast George Eyser in 1904, who had one artificial leg. Hungarian Karoly Takacs competed in shooting events in both 1952 Summer Olympics, he could shoot left-handed. Another disabled athlete to appear in the Olympics prior to the Paralympic Games was Lis Hartel, a Danish equestrian athlete who had contracted polio in 1943 and won a silver medal in the dressage event.
The first organized athletic day for disabled athletes that coincided with the Olympic Games took place on the day of the opening of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. Jewish-German born Dr. Ludwig Guttmann of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, helped to flee Nazi Germany by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics in 1939, hosted a sports competition for British World War II veteran patients with spinal cord injuries; the first games were called the 1948 International Wheelchair Games, were intended to coincide with the 1948 Olympics. Dr. Guttman's aim was to create an elite sports competition for people with disabilities that would be equivalent to the Olympic Games; the games were held again at the same location in 1952, Dutch and Israeli veterans took part alongside the British, making it the first international competition of its own kind. These early competitions known as the Stoke Mandeville Games, have been described as the precursors of the Paralympic Games. There have been several milestones in the Paralympic movement.
The first official Paralympic Games, no longer open to war veterans, was held in Rome in 1960. 400 athletes from 23 countries competed at the 1960 Games. Since 1960, the Paralympic Games have taken place in the same year as the Olympic Games; the Games were open only to athletes in wheelchairs. With the inclusion of more disability classifications the 1976 Summer Games expanded to 1,600 athletes from 40 countries; the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul was another milestone for the Paralympic movement. It was in Seoul that the Paralympic Summer Games were held directly after the Olympic Summer Games, in the same host city, using the same facilities; this set a precedent, followed in 1992, 1996 and 2000. It was formalized in an agreement between the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee in 2001, was extended through 2020. On March 10, 2018, the two committees further extended their contract to 2032; the 1992 Winter Paralympics were the first Winter Games to use the same facilities as the Winter Olympics.
The first Winter Paralympic Games were held in 1976 in Sweden. This was the first Paralympics in which multiple categories of athletes with disabilities could compete; the Winter Games were celebrated every four years on the same year as their summer counterpart, just as the Olympics were. This tradition was upheld until the 1992 Games in France; the Paralympic Games were designed to emphasize the participants' athletic achievements and not their disability. Recent games have emphasized that these games are about not disability; the movement has grown since its early days – for example, the number of athletes participating in the Summer Paralympic games has increased from 400 athletes in Rome in 1960 to 4,342 athletes from 159 countries in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Both the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games are recognized on the world stage; the IPC is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. It comprises 176</ref> National Paralympic Committees and four di
South Korea the Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea has a predominantly mountainous terrain, it comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2. Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million. Archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was inhabited by early humans starting from the Lower Paleolithic period; the history of Korea begins with the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BCE by the mythic king Dangun, but no archaeological evidence and writing was found from this period. The Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in 11th century BCE, its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era; the written historical record on Gojoseon was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE.
Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Unified Silla in CE 668, Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo dynasty and the Joseon dynasty. It was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U. S. zones of occupations. A separate election was held in the U. S. zone in 1948 which led to the creation of the Republic of Korea, while the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established in the Soviet zone. The United Nations at the time passed a resolution declaring the ROK to be the only lawful government in Korea; the Korean War began in June 1950. The war lasted three years and involved the U. S. China, the Soviet Union and several other nations; the border between the two nations remains the most fortified in the world. Under long-time military leader Park Chung-hee, the South Korean economy grew and the country was transformed into a G-20 major economy. Military rule ended in 1987, the country is now a presidential republic consisting of 17 administrative divisions.
South Korea is a developed country and a high-income economy, with a "very high" Human Development Index, ranking 22nd in the world. The country is considered a regional power and is the world's 11th largest economy by nominal GDP and the 12th largest by PPP as of 2010. South Korea is a global leader in the industrial and technological sectors, being the world's 5th largest exporter and 8th largest importer, its export-driven economy focuses production on electronics, ships, machinery and robotics. South Korea is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, the United Nations, Uniting for Consensus, G20, the WTO and OECD and is a founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit; the name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name; the 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, thus inherited its name, pronounced by the visiting Persian merchants as "Korea". The modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel.
Despite the coexistence of the spellings Corea and Korea in 19th century publications, some Koreans believe that Imperial Japan, around the time of the Japanese occupation, intentionally standardised the spelling on Korea, making Japan appear first alphabetically. After Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392, Joseon became the official name for the entire territory, though it was not universally accepted; the new official name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon. In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk; the name Daehan, which means "Great Han" derives from Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula. However, the name Joseon was still used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted. There were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.
Following the surrender of Japan, in 1945, the Republic of Korea was adopted as the legal English name for the new country. Since the government only controlled the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, the informal term South Korea was coined, becoming common in the Western world. While South Koreans use Han to refer to the entire country, North Koreans and ethnic Koreans living in China and Japan use the term Joseon as the name of the country; the Korean name "Daehan Minguk" is sometimes used by South Koreans as a metonym to refer to the Korean ethnicity as a whole, rather than just the South Korean state. The history of Korea begins with the founding of Joseon in 2333 BCE by Dangun, according to Korea's foundation mythology. Gojoseon expanded until it controlled parts of Manchuria. Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in the 12th century BC, but its existence and role have been controversial in the modern era. In 108 BCE, the Han dynasty defeated Wiman Joseon and installed four commanderies in the n
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating; the Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart. Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896; the IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority. The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games; some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Olympic Games for snow and ice sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a disability, the Youth Olympic Games for athletes aged 14 to 18, the five Continental games, the World Games for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games.
The Deaflympics and Special Olympics are endorsed by the IOC. The IOC has had to adapt to a variety of economic and technological advancements; the abuse of amateur rules by the Eastern Bloc nations prompted the IOC to shift away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allowing participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship and commercialisation of the Games. World wars led to the cancellation of the 1916, 1940, 1944 Games. Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games; the Olympic Movement consists of international sports federations, National Olympic Committees, organising committees for each specific Olympic Games. As the decision-making body, the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each Games, organises and funds the Games according to the Olympic Charter; the IOC determines the Olympic programme, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games. There are several Olympic rituals and symbols, such as the Olympic flag and torch, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
Over 13,000 athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events. The first and third-place finishers in each event receive Olympic medals: gold and bronze, respectively; the Games have grown so much. This growth has created numerous challenges and controversies, including boycotts, bribery, a terrorist attack in 1972; every two years the Olympics and its media exposure provide athletes with the chance to attain national and sometimes international fame. The Games constitute an opportunity for the host city and country to showcase themselves to the world; the Ancient Olympic Games were religious and athletic festivals held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece. Competition was among representatives of several kingdoms of Ancient Greece; these Games featured athletic but combat sports such as wrestling and the pankration and chariot racing events. It has been written that during the Games, all conflicts among the participating city-states were postponed until the Games were finished.
This cessation of hostilities was known as truce. This idea is a modern myth; the truce did allow those religious pilgrims who were travelling to Olympia to pass through warring territories unmolested because they were protected by Zeus. The origin of the Olympics is shrouded in legend. According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years; the myth continues that after Heracles completed his twelve labours, he built the Olympic Stadium as an honour to Zeus. Following its completion, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a "stadion", which became a unit of distance; the most accepted inception date for the Ancient Olympics is 776 BC. The Ancient Games featured running events, a pentathlon, wrestling and equestrian events. Tradition has it that a cook from the city of Elis, was the first Olympic champion; the Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honouring both Zeus and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia.
Pelops was famous for his chariot race with King Oenomaus of Pisatis. The winners of the events were immortalised in poems and statues; the Games were held every four years, this period, known as an Olympiad, was used by Greeks as one of their units of time measurement. The Games were part of a cycle known as the Panhellenic Games, which included the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games, the Isthmian Games; the Olympic Games reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, but gradually declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Gr