I wasn’t going to write on the Brazilian Olympics or ParaOlympics … I wrote fairly comprehensively on the London Games in 2012 …
… but as the Bran Tub is out and about … a few snippets or fun ideas won’t go amiss .. I cheated here – not quite plagiarising – but utilising a little book entitled “The Olympics A Very Peculiar History” …
The Hippodrome – was found by German archaeologists in 2008 … they’ve been excavating the site at Olympia since 1875 … but it’s appropriately called by the Greeks: as the site was submerged under deep flood waters long ago – hippos could have thrived.
However the chariot races were started in 680BC and were for horses … not hippos … but you’ll be glad to know that the charioteers were not expected to perform naked like the athletes!
|The Stadium at Nemea - a Hippodrome|
On diet and general well-being … the Greek philosopher Epictetus advised that anyone wanting to win an Olympic prize: Will have to
- obey instructions,
- eat according to regulations,
- keep away from desserts,
- exercise on a fixed schedule at definite hours, in both heat and cold …
|An illustration |
... but certainly do not eat a full meal before the 10,000 metres - the King of the Belgians wanted to visit an art exhibition after giving out the prizes - so they brought the race forward over 3 hours!
No-one told the French runner Joseph Guillemot ... and yes the worst happened at the end of the race in Antwerp 1920 ... as he, having come second, was congratulating the Finnish athlete - the great Paavo Nurmi ... disaster struck!
Horrifyingly in 1908 (perhaps not horrifyingly … but pretty odd) the catering contract was awarded to Oxo (the meat extract company) which provided refreshments along the route …
- not only bananas, raisins and milk,
- but rice pudding, hot and cold Oxo, and
- last but not least … ‘Oxo and Soda’ – yugh!
|In black and white -|
I had not realised these were televised … which as the book says would have been more of a landmark had more than a handful of people owned a tv set.
|A cook in 15th or 16th Europe|
No doubt there will be lots of fun times, a few records broken, some national triumphs and a few characters being found …
… finally to tie it all up with food the first Olympic champion was a cook, Coroebus of Elis, who won the sprint race in 776 BC.
Enjoy the Games – should you be interested!
"The Olympics A Very Peculiar History with added Medals" - by David Arscott
PS re Oxo: Oxo is a meat extract … its history is in Wiki, but it became the first stock cube in the early 1900s. Oxo, Odol mouthwash and Indian Foot Powder .... were sponsors of the London 1908 Olympics ...
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