Greece Sports are integral part of Greek culture. Sports are considered as the oldest form of entertainment of the country, which was widely played and enjoyed by most of the citizens of Greece.
The history of Greece – Sports goes back to the ancient Greek civilization when Ancient Olympics of Delphi was introduced. Even today sports in Greece is popular not only among the natives, but the tourists also take great pleasure in watching as well as participating in these sports.
Ancient Sports of Greece
In ancient Greece, the Olympic Games that took place every four years were an important part of the religious life of the Greeks. The Olympics were held at the Olympia stadium and was inaugurated with a sacrifice to Zeus, and ancient Greek god. The six major sports that were played during that period were running, pancration, jumping, dispatch race, discus casting and javelin casting.
Greece Sports Today
Olympic Games are still considered as one of the major events in Greece and have become an international game. Some of the most popular sports of Greece include tennis, golf, soccer, ice-hockey and various kinds of water-sports.
There are several sports clubs located throughout the country in different regions and towns of the country where Greece – Sports are played in national and international levels.
Golf in Greece
Golf in Greece is gradually scaling new heights of popularity. With golf becoming an important sport worldwide, tourists in Greece seek to play golf as a favorite pastime.
In response to this growing demand, a number of world class golf courses in Greece have come into being. At the same time quite a few luxury golf resorts have also emerged that seek to combine excellent accommodation with some spectacular golfing experience.
A Greece golf vacation enables to savor some unforgettable moments of sheer excitement, to be treasured forever.
Golf Clubs in Greece
- Golf in Greece can be enjoyed in some of the best golf courses of the country. The following are some of the well known golf clubs of the country:
The Crete Golf Club:
This is the latest addition to the list of golf clubs in Greece. Located in the picturesque mountains, The Crete Golf Club is extremely well maintained.
Porto Carras Golf Club:
This golf club can be found in the northern part of Greece, along the western coastal region of Sithonia.
Corfu Golf and Country Club:
This is a privately owned golf course with additional facilities like a restaurant, bar, television with satellite channels and lounge area. The golf course has eighteen holes.
Porto Elounda Golf Club:
This is a private golf club featuring nine hole course.
Glyfada Golf Club of Athens:
Donald Harradine designed this popular golf course, which has eighteen holes. It is situated in Glyfada town, in the suburban region of Athens.
Afandou Golf Club:
This is a championship course featuring eighteen holes, located southwards of Rhodes town.
Tennis in Greece
Greek athletic traditions. The emergence of Greece tennis can be traced back to the nineteenth century. In the initial development phase of tennis in Greece, it was primarily played by the bourgeoisie class. However, the growing popularity of tennis in Greece paved its way into the 1896 Olympics.
The interest spurred by the first Athens Olympics was instrumental in the establishment of the official Greek tennis organization. At the beginning of the journey, there were clubs in the Greek Sporting Tennis Federation. Gradually, the numbers increased and by 1985, there were fifty clubs in the federation.
Tennis in Greece strengthened its roots and firmly established its position by the middle of the 1930s. New players began to enter the scenario, attracted by the innovative techniques used in playing the game.
Greece Olympics has a very long history that dates back to the ancient era. Although, there is a lack of consent on the exact date of its beginning, according to the first written documents, Olympics in Greece, dates back to 776 BC.
Greece Olympics was held in highest esteem among the four ancient athletic tournaments, held in the country. The three other ancient athletic meets of Greece included Nemean Games held at Argos, Pythian Games held at Delphi and Isthmian Games held at Corinth.
Olympics in Ancient Greece
Olympics in ancient Greece was held in Olympia city, to honor Zeus. It continued for a period of four days, held at an interval of four years during the summer. The Greece Olympics scaled new heights and reached its zenith during the period of 5th to 4th century B.C. However, later during the rule of Theodosius I of Rome, the event was taken off at the close of 4th century A.D.
The Greeks held Olympics in high esteem. The contestants underwent rigorous training for a period of ten months. Initially, the ancient Greece Olympics featured only running. Later on other events like long run, boxing, armor foot race, chariot race and the pentathlon was added. Slaves, disgraced persons, women and foreigners were prohibited from participating in Olympics. Those who emerged victorious in the Olympics were honored by a wild olive crown. In their respective home towns, the winners were given several other gifts.
Modern Olympics in Greece
It has been roughly estimated that the modern Olympics in Greece was held in Athens in the year 1896. The revival of Olympics is mainly accredited to the initiative taken by baron de Coubertin, who belonged to France. A number of new sports and games were added to those traditionally played.These included badminton, basketball, cycling, archery, kayaking, diving, fencing, swimming, sailing, soccer, gymnastics, volleyball, tennis, rowing, baseball, water polo, wrestling, field hockey, weight lifting and some more. In the year 1912, events for women were introduced for the first time in Olympics. Till the end of the twentieth century, only the beginners were permitted to participate. Presently, professionals are also allowed to participate.
Athens (Greece)-1896 Olympiad
Athens, the glorious capital of Greece has always been the birthplace of civilization from ancient times. Many wise personalities were born in this city. it has also witnessed the birth of democracy.
Athens is famous for its monuments and museums like the great Acropolis , where many great temples were built in different eras. There are also the Agro , the arch of Haridan , the City of Eleusinion , Pnyx and more others.
The first modern Olympics were held in Athens in the year 1896 . French educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin proposed that the ancient games should be revived on an international scale. That was the 23 rd of June in 1894.
International sports leaders from nine nations including the United States and Russia gathered at the Sorbonne in Paris. The idea of Coubertin was accepted and the Modern Olympics were born. Two years later, the first Olympiad was held in Athens.
Venue: The 1986 Summer Games, the first Modern Summer Games were held at the newly reconstructed Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. The ancient stadium was built 2,300 years ago at the base of the Ardittos Hills, in the Pangrati region of Athens.
Participants: 241 athletes from 14 nations competed in this Summer Games. The participating nations were Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and United States. Belgium and Russia had withdrawn their names from participation list. There was no woman participant and most of the participants were Greek.
Events: There were track and field events like fencing, weightlifting, rifle and pistol shooting, tennis, cycling, swimming, gymnastics, and wrestling. 43 games were played in these 9 sports.
Medal Count: Greece won the highest number of medals winning 46 medals in total. United States won 11 gold medals and became the winner of the first Modern Summer Games. Total medals won by United States were 20.
A Brief Description of the Athens Olympics, 1896: The Summer Games were held from 6th April to 15 th April. The games were officially opened by King George I of Greece in the Panathenaic Stadium filled with an estimated 80,000 spectators. The first modern-day Marathon was held on the 11th day of the games. This event was held to commemorate Ancient Summer Games. The race was run from Marathon to Athens . More than 100,000 peoples gathered to witness the historic event. The Summer Games reached their high point when a Greek runner, Spiridon Louis won the first Marathon race of the Modern Olympiad. The thrill of this victory added a spark to the Games’ finale–the ceremonial march of the nations.