History of Athletics: from Ancient to Modern Olympics


Athletics has had a long and storied history. The first Olympian Games were held in 776 BC, and the modern Olympic Games system was created in 1896. Although women’s athletics lagged behind men’s for most of the 20th century, women now compete in all sports at every level of competition.

The Ancient Olympics

The ancient Olympics were initially held in Greece. They were a series of athletic competitions held every four years, starting in 776 BC and continuing until AD 393. The first event was a foot race called the stadion (or “stadium”), which featured only one type of competition: athletes ran from one end to another of their stadium (a distance of about 185 meters).

The Olympics were dedicated to Zeus and held at Olympia, where they became a major religious festival for the Greeks. In fact, many historians believe that this festival may have led directly or indirectly to the founding of Christianity because it was so popular among people who practiced paganism. Thus, when Christians came along with their new religion that promised eternal life after death. It also seemed to attract many followers. They had something new and exciting for those who wanted something different from what they’d been doing all along!

Women’s athletics in the ancient world

The ancient Olympics were not open to women. Women’s athletics did not become an Olympic sport until the modern era. In fact, it’s only been a part of the Games since 1900. And even then, only one event was available for female competitors: tennis.

By 1886 this exhibition had become regular enough that Queen Victoria requested tickets for herself and Prince Albert (who died later that year). The following year saw another exhibition match between American star May Sutton Brandy and British player Kate Rousby which ended in victory for Miss Brandy after she won 12 games out of 13!

Modern Olympics started in 1896

The modern Olympic Games were first held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The first games featured a total of 241 athletes from 14 nations competing in 43 events. The Olympic Games were originally intended to be held every four years and were held in different countries until World War I forced them to be canceled for three years between 1916 and 1920. After the war, they resumed their regular schedule, with the Summer Olympics being held every four years and Winter Olympics being held two years after each Summer Olympics (for example 1924 Summer Olympics was followed by the 1926 Winter Olympics).

Summer Olympics 1896-1988

The first modern Olympics were held in 1896 in Athens. The Games featured a variety of competitions, including athletics, cycling, fencing, and shooting. Women’s athletics events were not included until the 1912 Stockholm Games, when they competed for the first time alongside men’s events.

The 1924 Winter Olympics marked the first time that women took part in an official winter sports competition at an international level when figure skating was added to their program. However, it wasn’t until 1998 that alpine skiing became an Olympic event for both genders – making it part of all four major winter sports (bobsleigh/luge being another two).

Winter Olympics 1924-1968

The Winter Olympics was first held in 1924, when it was hosted in Chamonix, France. The games were originally scheduled to be held every four years. However, due to World War II and its aftermath (which included the deaths of many athletes), they were not held between 1940 and 1944 or 1948 through 1952.

The first Winter Games were much smaller than todays. Only 16 countries competed. Fewer than 400 athletes participated. There were only six events (men’s downhill ski race, men’s slalom ski race, men’s combined event [slalom + downhill], women’s combined event [slalom + downhill], men’s cross country ski race over 10 kilometers). Medals were awarded for individual performances rather than national teams winning overall trophies. Ice hockey was not yet an Olympic sport (it would debut at the 1920 Summer Olympics).

Women’s Athletics and the Olympic Games 1900-2012

Women’s athletics have been included in the Olympic Games since 1900. Women were excluded from competing until 1928 when they were allowed to compete in five events: 100m, 800m, and 1500m running, high jump, and shot put throwing. Since then, more events have been added, and women compete in almost all track and field disciplines (excluding pole vaulting).

Women’s participation at the Olympic level has increased dramatically since the 1950s. However, this does not necessarily reflect a similar increase in everyday sport participation rates by women worldwide over this period. Contrary to popular belief, there are more female athletes now than ever!

Athletics has a long history

Athletics has a long history. The modern sport of athletics can be traced back to ancient Greece. The first recorded competitions were held in 576 BC. Athletics is popular around the world, especially in Europe and North America. Events such as track and field are being watched by millions of people each year at major championships,.

Athletics is an ancient sport that has evolved over time into its current format. It still retains many elements from its early days, such as sprinting races. Sprinting 100m or 200m competitions have been around since before 1900.


Athletics is a sport that has been around for centuries, with its roots in ancient Greece and Rome. The modern Olympics began in 1896. Still, many other competitions have been held over the years that gave rise to modern games and helped develop new ideas about how athletics should be played. Women were not allowed to compete until 1900 when Baron de Coubertin decided it was time for them to join in on all the fun!