7. Ancient Olympia; Birthplace of the Olympics
Olympia, the ancient sanctuary of Zeus, is one of the most important archeological sites in Greece. It is set in the rolling green hills of Elis where two rivers feed the pine woods, olive groves and stately cypress trees. According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. They were dedicated to the Olympian gods and continued for nearly 12 centuries. Christine’s’ talk brings the site to life describing where tributes were made and treasures stored, where athletes practiced and competed, where statues of shame were erected to those who flaunted the rules or cheated, and which celebrities of the times came to participate or simply watch. Highlights of the Olympia Museum are included. The talk is well illustrated withcurrent photography.