Skip navigation! Story from Politics. We all struggle to stay healthy and squeeze some exercise into our schedules, but when you've made it to the Olympics, it's safe to say you're doing something right. We've come to acknowledge that there's really no point in comparing our butts with Kerri Walsh 's.
If the modern Olympic Games ran true to the strict customs of ancient Greece they might well today have been called the "Naked Games". From the early 8th century BC, Olympic athletes competed in the nude. There are indisputable records going back to Athenian philosopher Plato in the 5th century BC and even Homer's Iliad, as well as many explicit drawings that confirm it was common practice for all male track and field athletes to take part naked. This included the often dangerous sports of discus throwing, wrestling, boxing and horse racing without protective clothing. The only exception seems to have been for charioteers, who wore long white tunics. The words gymnastics and gymnasium are based on the Greek adjective gymnos, which means lightly-clad or naked. The only adornment on the athletes' bronzed, muscular torsos would have been the gleam of olive oil with which they ritually anointed themselves.
A Brief History Of Olympic Nudity From Ancient Greece To ESPN
Five stars of Team GB's women's rugby team have posed naked in celebration of the bodies that help them achieve their goals. In Women's Health 's September issue , the five Olympians talk openly about their relationships with their bodies, and how their body shapes enable them to play rugby. Five of Team GB's rugby sevens athletes talked frankly about their relationships with their bodies. It was my brother who pointed out that my build was the very thing that would help me achieve my dreams of playing pro rugby for England," full back Danielle Waterman second on the right told Women's Health. My body is how it is — 5 foot, 8 inches and powerful.
Going au natural was considered not only natural, but beautiful, in ancient Greece. The nude athlete is a powerful image in Greece. It is said that when a runner named Orsippus of Megara lost his loincloth in the midst of a sprint, he was said to run even faster, gaining him victory and fame. Running naked became a competitive advantage. As archaeologists like Heinrich Schliemann , who uncovered the site of ancient Troy in the late 19th century, captured the imagination of people the world over, the thinking and customs of the ancient Greece became idealized.