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What Were Ancient Olympic Events Practiced in Old Greece

The ancient Olympic events would be organized for one day. However, later the ancient Olympic events were extended to three days. The Greeks would add two more days to the three days event. Furthermore, the typical ancient Olympic events would feature sports like equestrian events, pankration, running, shot put, long jump, and boxing.

A Look at Ancient Olympic Events

Let us have a look at the ancient Olympic events by the Greek.


Pankration would resemble the original form of the modern martial arts. The pankration would combine the skills of boxing and wrestling. It was one of the toughest ancient Greek events. One of the famous Greeks, Theseus was believed to have started the sports.


Unlike the modern boxing, there were no gloves available at that time. The boxers would wrap leather thongs on their hands as well as wrists. At the start of the boxing events, boxers would use softer straps. However, with the passage of time, they would intentionally use hard leather straps for maximum damage to their opponents. Therefore, there were no rounds, and one man would have to knock out the other or the other had to admit defeat.


The wrestling is one of the ancient Olympic events which remains pretty much the same. Furthermore, in the ancient Greek times, the winner would have to throw their opponent on the ground. For a fair fall, the opponent falling would have to land on their back, shoulder, or hip. However, the winner would have to complete three such drops to claim victory. No player could hold genitals of the other player or bite them.

Discus Throw

The discus throw today is another event similar to how it was done in ancient Greece. At that time, the discs were made of lead, bronze, or iron. Therefore, the technique used at that time was somewhat similar to the freestyle discus throw in modern Olympics.


Jumping was a different type of Olympic event. The jumpers would have to hold on to stones or lead weights. They would have to carry these weights and try a long jump. At the end of their jump flight, they had to throw the stone backward.

ancient Olympic eventsRunning

Running was important part of the ancient Olympic events. Therefore, running would include different types of contests for speed test of 200 meters, the diaulos (two stades with 400-meter distance), and dolichos (more of a marathon with 7 to 24 stades to cover).

Equestrian Events

The equestrian events would be divided into two; riding, and chariot racing.


The riding would have six laps around the track. The race had two categories for foals and full grown horses. Therefore, it would take a lot of money to train the horses to participate in the event. However, only the elite of the time would take part in riding. Furthermore, the winner of the riding event would get an olive wreath of victory.

Chariot Racing

The chariot racing would involve two categories for horses; one for two horses, and one for four horses. There were separate ancient Olympic events for chariots driven by foals. Furthermore, there was another category of carts driven by two mules. However, the chariot racing would involve completing 12 laps around the stadium.

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