The Olympics

Olympic History

A look at the original Olympic Games reveals that even in Plato’s time athletes took money to compete, won prizes and accolades for their victories, and were surrounded by controversy.

Original Air Date: May 6, 2002

Transcript by YouTube

Welcome to History Bites I’m Rick Green.
every four years the Olympics unite the
world through sport as far as televised
competition goes nothing can compete
with the Olympics except the World Cup
and the Super Bowl and WrestleMania
but the Olympics have something extra
that other sporting events don’t
controversy scandals corruption drugs
and that’s just the competition between
the host cities 2,500 years ago there
was no need for Olympic bidding they
were always held in Olympia back then
athletes didn’t pray to God for
endorsements or wear Nike they prayed to
the God Nike and wore nothing
so let’s channel surf back to 350 BC
because when you want to watch perfectly
sculpted athletes compete for the glory
of the gods you got to grab a ton of
junk food flop on the couch and turn on
the TV
a bitch mom Olympic pancreas the
Kings are the poet
and now the Lambuth with the slick
injuries Hey
hey hey hey it’s been four years huh
yeah thank you time to sit through than
the mean games the Pythian games and the
Isthmian games and finally finally it’s
time for the Olympic Games great my
favorite games the Olympics and you know
everyone asks why do we always hold the
Olympics in Olympia because it’s not
like it’s in the best location you know
have the games in a new city state every
year with local themes to like you know
your your Spartans could hold the war
games the lesbians could hold the Gay
Games and the accretions why they could
hold the dumb games if it’s a foot race
hook homie run further than the foot
with all the interesting a rivalry and
scandals we can’t forget what the
Olympics are really all about and that’s
I mean Zeus created us the least we can
do is celebrate in maybe four years am i
Zeus deserves every single one of those
hundred Bulls they sacrifice to him
don’t you think that’s a lot of bull
Dave sure it’s a lot of bull it’s more
Bowl than you see in the city state
assembly but here’s the good news kids
the bull meat doesn’t go to waste no no
all the Olympic fans get a chunk well
except the pythagorean’s because they’re
vegetarians they they sacrifice a
and left on a rock in the mountains to
die tetanus which God rules over the
Seas Cousteau Poseidon Theresa what is
the name of the dog who guard the gates
of the underworld
Kuja Cerebus fellow who was credited
with creating Athens powerful Navy but
was ostracized for his efforts them is
taco ease and it’s duck leaves a few
minutes with Andy Rooney I was down at
the amphitheater this week watching a
few tragedies – nice break from my home
life in between these tragedies they
have satyr plays have you seen those men
prance around the stage wearing giant
oversized leather phalluses after about
three of these satyr plays all I could
think is why are we bothering with these
tragedies I learned more about life
watching two guys playing dueling goat
gods with their giant from the Home
Office and Max Lowe’s the top ten
rejected Olympic events the top ten
rejected Olympic events here we go
number 10 the javelin catch weight
gaining brink tease the Spartan
4:7 the hundred-yard olive oil slide
number six one man trireme racing number
five musical chariots number four
synchronized sculpting number three
dodge discus number two
equestrian clean-and-jerk and the number
one rejected Olympic event
Bobby forego unconscious that’s another
thing how come when it’s a half-man
half-goat it’s always the top half of
the man in the bottom half of the goat
what do the gods do what the other
halves is there someplace we don’t know
about maybe over the mountains where
there’s nothing but goats with people
sounds like a reunion on my wife’s side
of the family and it’s incredible to see
what he’s done with fabric there are big
squares of wool or linen held on with
brooches and belts are there but this
year it’s color we’re used to fabricate
such neutral tones yellow ochre
goldenrod gold honey butter
saffron straw and lemon but now he’s
added red it’s really shaking up the
whole fashion industry what’s next
orange married women weren’t allowed to
watch the Olympic Games the Greeks
thought that seeing those naked male
athletes could cause women to leave
their husbands behind for a behind that
was tighter and firmer in fact the only
women who were allowed in the Olympic
audience were virgins it was a chance
for them to see the cream of the crop of
Greek men in all their naked glory kind
of the ancient equivalent of Backstreet
Boy concerts we sent our very own Late
Show correspondent to cover the games my
okay so so let’s talk to my mom let’s
get her on the egg one thing day we
would be centered yeah what what is it
Paul I guess you haven’t heard but women
aren’t allowed at the Olympics if if
married women show up they thrown off a
cliff that doesn’t sound the Olympic
spirit does it Paul I I don’t know
that’s what that’s what I heard
I thought everyone I thought everyone
knew that it’s common knowledge view mom
mom are you there
I’m having a very nice time David hey
how about the shorts on those athletes
hi mom they don’t have shorts David so
they must have long
yeah well if you must know yes
so mama where’s all the fans I I thought
the place was packed oh well I’m on the
cliff David brought me here hello Dave
I’m Kepha loss I handle security here at
the games in Olympia listen of thanks
for sending your mom we don’t see a lot
of women here at the games mainly
because they are banned but this year we
can finally host the women’s event the
high dive hi Dave I’m not familiar with
that event well basically the women have
to dive off of this cliff into that pool
of rocks ouch now the high dive is
really a demonstration sport to
demonstrate to other women what will
happen if they try to sneak into the
Olympics hey remember mom arch your back
I think so
oh and mama make sure to let him hold
your mic those things are pretty
expensive very costly to replace okay
oh good David I think he landed on his
no wait no sirs kidneys coming up a nude
Greek Olympian pulls a groin and it’s
not his
around 350 BC the ancient Olympics were
in full swing and so were the punches
one of the most popular events of the
games was the pankration a brutal
one-two combination of boxing and
wrestling there were rules – rules no
biting and no gouging
but for pancreas rules like bones were
made to be broken
our first guest just returned from his
third that’s his third Olympic win for
the pankration event he’s a god at least
I worship with his won the column mr.
fingertips but his friends call him the
finger ER great pleasure to have him on
the show please welcome
Strato subsea on
nice to meet you it’s good to be here
yeah yeah
you look good Thanks shows hey hey
what’s that you got rubbed on you there
well yeah it’s olive oil yeah it’s so
not bad extra virgin certainly more
information that I need to know man I
tell you sitting next to you I I feel
kind of underdressed that’s a that’s a
nice metal you got there
hey look he’s wearing a Trojan good
evening I’m Greta sister Nia ran the
marathon was an impressive non-stop run
poorly pronounced non-stop Ronin centage
is used by me on this show I founded Lee
speaking Annunciation to which compare
favorably to the run to marathon by a
runner who style was by any standards
if incomprehensible then with that this
time which we’ll be looking at later in
the show tonight this evening
I tell you Robin a word gorgeous dancing
right in front of me and like I could
see under their tunics and it’s so hot
out they start taking off their tunics
right and I’m like hey hey hey then
they’re leather thongs and I’m like you
know each other up their butts are so
tight you could bounce a drachma ah what
I love to mud wrestle one of those go
come on what about perks there’s gotta
be perks to be in a winner you know
other than being worshipped like a god
well I’ll never have to worry about
going hungry I get free meals from the
state famine what famine yeah and of
course there’s the cash bonuses the
houses the slaves and the women or men
but for me the best part is being
immortalized in stone Oh actually
they’re uh they’re erecting a statue of
me in my hometown of sick Ian so if
anyone out there thanks guys there must
be big fans here look there they’re
doing the wave and sound proud let me
get this right you say they’re erecting
a statue of you yeah yeah it’s it’s
going up this weekend and you know
everybody’s welcome to come down too
sick he in and then check it out this
weekend and check out his erection
tetanus who is the Greek god of sleep
nyquil hypnose bandulus traditional
entertainment at a symposium or dinner
includes dancing slave girls and a
singer who accompanies himself while
what staring at the slave girls laying a
liar Teresa who are the traditional
enemies of the Greek city-states of
Athens Sparta Marathon creaked Rhodes
Attica and Thrace each other the
Persians but I’ll accept that
see now what monster grows two more
heads every time you try and cut one off
the civil service the Hydra tetanus what
do all the Greek city-states have in
hating each other language dress trade
and religion Theresa what separates a
trireme warship from a Byram warship
water an extra row of owls it’s ironic
the Olympic Games celebrated military
skills boxing javelin throwing a foot
race in full armor but the games also
brought peace to the Greek States every
Olympiad or for years a temporary truce
was declared so athletes and fans could
safely reach Olympia they needed rules
like that because the travel was
expensive and the roadkill was human as
the Greek Empire expanded this truce was
extended from one month to three to
allow time for travel from the boonies
Greeks were probably grateful for the
Olympic time out from war and what
better way to celebrate peace than by
watching two guys beat each other
so you’ve really made a name for
yourself castrato so I mean three
Olympic wins twelve wins than the mean
game food at the 15 games visit guy try
and in this sport this anchor at Ian’s
and anything goes am i right is it’s
like street fighting like correct me if
I’m wrong in the course of a day you
probably get punched kicked thrall
smacked squeezed headlock cold cocked
cold that must lead to shrinkage
string jabbed head buddy
woo head but it doesn’t doesn’t that
hurt fully if it’s done right now
personally I don’t like the rough stuff
I’d like to keep money fight short sweet
I get in there as fast as I can as soon
as I see an opening I go force uh-huh
hand and I break all his fingers right
right hence the nickname the finger ER
Paul over there was hoping I meant
something else give us a day in the life
of us so straddles if I’ve got a match
coming up I got a priest to sacrifice a
then he’ll examine the entrails and tell
me if I’m gonna win or not if all goes
well by the end of the match you’ll be
examining your opponent’s entrails
you see these doctors they’re foreigners
quacks you can’t take them seriously
now these doctors say you broke your leg
because you fell off your horse this
chariot cut me off
Oh fill back up more alert okay first of
all your horse didn’t break your leg God
did yeah you see when good righteous
people get crushed by horses they get up
walk it off they’re fine but a sinner
well they get what
now sometimes god works in mysterious
ways but you know he’s always fair you
break a commandment he breaks late Wow
there you go
you ask for forgiveness and if God’s in
a good mood you should heal in two three
weeks oh you see God knows all even
bloods coming speaking of which our next
caller okay now tonight tonight right
here at our stage we’ll be unveiling for
the first time anywhere the nude statues
of the Greek gods by proxy to you lady
we fill it in from the waist up penile
what large wide open city space is
frequented by merchants buskers and
pickpockets the Agora correct Teresa if
you’re a Greek who’s irrationally
frightened of something you have what
goosebumps a phobia or fear fennel if
you have a phobia of wide open spaces
like the Agora you probably have what a
good reason because the Agora is a
creepy place isn’t it
I mean you know it’s full of people who
want to talk to you and rob you and you
got all those jugglers and the clowns oh
god those possible eyes ooze the clouds
keep the clown’s away from me mami mami
was agoraphobia Lucy you won your
pancreatic matching and now what do you
get for that I got the traditional prize
Dave and Oliver Ethan wouldn’t you
prefer a tunic with your name on it
can you explain the nudity for our male
viewers well here’s the story 300 years
ago the games were just getting started
and this Runner sip roast was running a
race there’s a loincloth fellow and well
nobody can remember if he tripped on it
and lost or ran naked one and really
like like who cares because the point is
all Olympians have been naked ever since
and and and and that’s the important
thing right
right but in the ratty and we do it so
the other guy doesn’t have anything to
hold on to oh now I’m no paint gratia
strolling around naked on the ground I
could probably find a thing or two to
hold on to
whether they compete in ancient or
modern Olympics successful athletes are
always treated like gods ancient Greek
losers might have been ashamed to go out
in public but for the winners privileges
included free meals for life and large
cash rewards unlike modern Olympians
Greeks competed first and foremost for
Zeus then themselves there were no
national teams and no national anthems
instead the Greeks wrote songs to honor
their winners so let’s all rise for the
singing of the pancreas anthem lyrics of
the Hellenistic world and also a huge
sports fan here to perform his ode to
saw Stratos here is Pindar the poet so
Stratasys mighty he punched a guy broke
his face and three brought her Achilles
as a pushover compared to so Stratos
even Zeus himself wouldn’t fight this
dude cuz he be TKO’d all of the gods
they turn into li o BR
so Stratos don’t hurt me Oh
Olympia so Stratos taught
so Stratos fights dirty but we don’t
mind that’s what we like to see if he
ever fought with Achilles he would
dislocate his heel yes leprosy
yeah he’s headed on his face since he
turned 13 and a couple on his back too
well that makes sense because he’s going
through puberty which means he’s
becoming lost oh my god yes I’m afraid
it’ll continue until he gets his
wickedness under control okay next
caller Philip this green stuff growing
on our minutes Oh green stuff yeah yes
so there’s leprosy pink radians gotten
very popular these days everybody loves
it and it’s got all the crazy moves the
drama but one thing I always wonder is
come on are you guys just making it
pardon are you are you faking it I mean
is it staged at all you could ask Milo
the guy I beat at the last Olympics but
he’s dead so I think it it is it’s real
oh it’s real would you uh would you like
me to show you some mousse so I could
show you but I ended up knocking you out
knock me out you did that when you came
on the show wearing your lucky charm
the ancient Olympic Games survived for
over a thousand years through both the
Greek and Roman empires but after they
were moved to Rome they became more of
an entertainment spectacle more guts
less glory the old gods deserted the
games to be replaced by new gods and
eventually just God you see as
Christianity gained popularity the games
were seen as an undesirable pagan
festival Christians didn’t approve of
violence or naked men
so in 393 ad the Olympics were banned
and a series of earthquakes floods and
fires finished off Olympia itself
ancient history may have given us the
impetus for our modern Olympics but for
those who have idealistic notions about
the ancient Olympic spirit well they may
find that history like a cheating
pancreas bites now we have a special
treat for you one of my top theatrical
companies in the Greek world the Cretan
player presenting a scene from their
current production of eatables Rex this
who has learned from the powerful but
someday his son will kill him
takes the infant child about cetera
where he drives a spike to the baby’s
feet and Lee’s in the Dodge Intrepid
scene let’s walk