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Pankration (; Greek: παγκράτιον) was a sporting event introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and was an empty-hand submission sport with scarcely any rules. The athletes used boxing and wrestling techniques, but also others, such as kicking and holds, locks and chokes on the ground. The term comes from the Greek παγκράτιον [paŋkrátion], literally meaning "all of power" from πᾶν (pan) "all" and κράτος (kratos) "strength, might, power".
It was known in ancient times for its ferocity and allowance of such tactics as knees to the head and eye gouging. One ancient account tells of a situation in which the judges were trying to determine the winner of a match. The difficulty lay in that fact that both men had died in the arena from their injuries, making it hard to determine a victor. Eventually, the judges decided the winner was the one who didn't have his eyes gouged out. Over time, however, maneuvers like eye gouging were discouraged to prevent such unpleasant incidents.
- "Pankration" | 2015-04-09 | 16 Upvotes 18 Comments
Richard Allensworth Jewell (born Richard White; December 17, 1962 – August 29, 2007) was an American security guard and law enforcement officer who alerted police during the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. For months afterwards he was suspected of planting the bomb, leading to adverse publicity that "came to symbolize the excesses of law enforcement and the news media."
While working as a security guard at the Olympic Park, Jewell discovered a backpack containing three pipe bombs on the park grounds. He alerted law enforcement and helped evacuate the area before the bomb exploded, probably saving many people from injury or death.
Initially hailed by the media as a hero, Jewell was soon considered a suspect by the FBI and local law enforcement based on scientific profiling. Though never charged, he underwent a "trial by media", which took a toll on his personal and professional life. Jewell was cleared as a suspect after 88 days of public scrutiny. Eric Rudolph eventually confessed and pleaded guilty to that bombing and other attacks. The media circus surrounding the investigation, which was leaked to the press, has been widely cited as an example of law enforcement and media excesses.
In recent years, Jewell's heroic legacy has been the subject of popular culture, including the 2019 film Richard Jewell, and the drama anthology series Manhunt.
Athletics at the 1904 Summer Olympics: Men's Marathon
The men's marathon at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, United States, took place on August 30 of that year, over a distance of 24.85 miles (40 km).
The race was run during the hottest part of the day on dusty country roads with minimal water supply; while thirty-two athletes representing four nations competed, only 14 managed to complete the race, which was a bizarre affair due to poor organization and officiating. While Fred Lorz was greeted as the apparent winner, he was later disqualified as he had hitched a ride in a car for part of the race. The actual winner, Thomas Hicks, was near collapse and hallucinating by the end of the race, a side effect of being administered brandy, raw eggs, and strychnine by his trainers. The fourth-place finisher, Andarín Carvajal, took a nap during the race after eating spoiled apples.
- "Athletics at the 1904 Summer Olympics: Men's Marathon" | 2022-08-30 | 137 Upvotes 47 Comments
Olympic medalists in art competitions
There were 146 medalists in the art competitions that were part of the Olympic Games from 1912 until 1948. These art competitions were considered an integral part of the movement by International Olympic Committee (IOC) founder Pierre de Coubertin and necessary to recapture the complete essence of the Ancient Olympic Games. Their absence before the 1912 Summer Olympics, according to journalism professor Richard Stanton, stems from Coubertin "not wanting to fragment the focus of his new and fragile movement". Art competitions were originally planned for inclusion in the 1908 Summer Olympics but were delayed after that edition's change in venue from Rome to London following the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. By the 1924 Summer Olympics they had grown to be considered internationally relevant and potentially "a milestone in advancing public awareness of art as a whole".
During their first three appearances, the art competitions were grouped into five broad categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture. The Dutch Organizing Committee for the 1928 Summer Olympics split these into subcategories in the hopes of increasing participation. Although it was a successful strategy, the 1932 Summer Olympics eliminated several of these subcategories, which led to fewer entries in the broader categories. For the 1936 Summer Olympics, the German government proposed the addition of a film contest to the program, which was rejected.
Following a final appearance at the 1948 Summer Olympics, art competitions were removed from the Olympic program. Planners of the 1952 Summer Olympics opposed their inclusion on logistical grounds, claiming that the lack of an international association for the event meant that the entire onus of facilitation was placed on the local organizing committee. Concerns were also raised about the professionalism of the event, since only amateurs were allowed to participate in the sporting tournaments, and the growing commercialization of the competitions, as artists had been permitted to sell their submissions during the course of the Games since 1928. In 1952 an art festival and exhibition was held concurrent with the Games, a tradition that has been maintained in all subsequent Summer Olympics.
The IOC does not track medalists in Olympic art competitions in its database and thus the prize winners are only officially recorded in the original Olympic reports. Judges were not required to distribute first, second, and third place awards for every category, and thus certain events lack medalists in these placements. Since participants were allowed multiple submissions, it was also possible for artists to win more than one in a single event, as Alex Diggelmann of Switzerland did in the graphic arts category of the 1948 edition. Diggelmann is tied with Denmark's Josef Petersen, who won second prize three times in literature, for the number of medals captured in the art competitions. Luxembourg's Jean Jacoby is the only individual to win two gold medals, doing so in painting in 1924 and 1928. Of the 146 medalists, 11 were women and only Finnish author Aale Tynni was awarded gold. Germany was the most successful nation, with eight gold, seven silver, and nine bronze medals, although one was won by Coubertin himself, a Frenchman. He submitted his poem Ode to Sport under the pseudonyms Georges Hohrod and Martin Eschbach, as if it were a joint-entry, and won first prize in the 1912 literature category. The original report credits this medal to Germany. Two individuals, Walter W. Winans and Alfréd Hajós, won medals in both athletic and art competitions.
- "Olympic medalists in art competitions" | 2023-01-17 | 62 Upvotes 12 Comments