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17 Aug 2004
Olympic News

Shot Put Goes Back to the Cradle

The Stadium of Ancient Olympia will once again be the stage for sporting excellence – 1,600 years after it last hosted an Olympic sporting event. The men’s and women’s shot put for the Games in Athens will be held in the cradle of the Olympic Games situated some 320 kilometres southwest of Athens.

Mai site of the Games
The stadium was the main site of the Games when they were first held in 776 BC right up to 393 AD when the Games were abolished by decree of Emporer Theodosius. Dating from the 4th century BC, it has a length of 213 metres and a width of 28.5 metres and could hold more than 40,000 people.

Any visual intervention
In order to respect the environment as well as the historical character of the ancient Olympia area the shot put competition will take place without any visual intervention to the competition ground with no temporary structures and grandstands and with no electronic boards nor artificial lighting. 15,000 spectators will be able to view the competition from the surrounding lawns on 18 August.

One day event
The shot put events will be held all in one day, as were the ancient Games in their infancy (although they were later expanded to five days of competition). Unlike their ancient counterparts however, the 32 men and 32 women competing today will be asked to perform fully clothed. The medal ceremony will be held two days later in the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

1896 for men, 1948 for women
Men’s shot put has been on the Olympic programme since the first modern Olympic Games in the 1896 in Athens. The event for women was added to the programme for the 1948 Games in London.

Birthplace of the Olympic Flame
The site of the ancient Games in Olympia has also become the regular birthplace of the Olympic Flame. Since 1936, the Olympic flame, which is lit by the sun’s rays in a cauldron on the site of what was once the temple to Olympian Zeus has become the famous starting point of the Olympic torch relay.

Learn more on Athens 2004

Official website of Athens 2004
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