Athletics as a vehicle of the greek ideal and not just as physical exertion of the body is rooted in ancient Greece. Athletics is part of the concept and goal of upbringing and education. The Olympic Games not only promoted the greek type of body, but also cultivated competition, elevated greek art and bonded greek people together.
Classical Greece provided the model for the perfect and ideal man in its search for morality and physical perfection. This is the notion of greek ideal of kalogathia (benevolence), a classic humanist ideal, inherent in the Olympic Games. The broad range of varied athletic events included in the ancient Olympics lasted for more than a thousand years nad was the epitome of the Anciet Greek way of life. [...]
Vasiliki Tzachrista, Archaeologist