If you are amazed by our modern day athletes just like Lebron James, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Cathy Freeman and Mark Spitz, then we are here to show you a list of ancient sports heroes. These are ancient athletes who also had their way on how to capture the public’s attention. They were so incredible that some of them were the best-known Olympic athletes of the ancient times.
Even if these athletes had played ancient sports and competitions that were quite different from the ones that our modern athletes play, they have achieved great accomplishments that made their names still relevant and prominent in the field of athletics even if its three thousand years later after their deaths.
Orsippus of Megara
Known as the one who won the stadium race of the fifteenth Ancient Olympic Games in 720 B.C., Orsippus of Megara was an ancient Greek crowd favorite and was a pioneer in being the first ever athlete who run the race naked. Orsippus intentionally lets his girdle slip off him because he thought being naked can give him the advantage to run more easily than the other racers.
He was an athlete from Amerania that had the privilege to have rigorous training in boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and military exercises. Because of this, he won the Olympic boxing tournament during the 291st Olympic games. He also won different boxing competitions that was held in Greece. Later on, he had his greatest triumph when he became the Olympic champion at the Olympics of 385.
Cynicsca of Sparta
Cynisca of Sparta proved girl power back in the ancient times where she became the first woman to win at the Olympic games. Believe it or not, Cynisca was part of a four-horse chariot racing team that won two games in 396 B.C and 392 B.C. Cynisca became the most distinguished female athletes of her time and she became the icon for social rise of women. She also paved the way to a movement that gave women equal rights and opportunities.
Milo of Croton
Milo of Croton is still known to be the greatest wrestler the world has ever known. During his thirty year career in the 6th century BC in Greece, he won several Olympic championships. He was so strong and his built was so perfect that some people even thought he was the son of Zeus. Some said Milo’s secret to being lean and strong was that he ate more than eight kilograms of meat every day. Some says that he carried an adult bull on his shoulders while he was on his way to the Olympic Stadium.
If you think that Milo of Croton is just some hunky dude who loves to wrestle then think again, Milo also has a soft side because he was also a musician, poet and a student of Pythagoras.
Diagoras of Rhodes
Diogras of Rhodes came from the greatest sporting family in the ancient times. He won the boxing event in the Olympics of 464 B.C. He also won four times in the Isthmian games and won two times at the Nemea games. Diagoras’ sons and grandsons are also boxing and pankration (combination of wrestling and boxing) champions.
Melankomas was a handsome boxer of the Caria region of Greece. He chose to compete in athletics because he wanted to prove his courage. Luck was on his side because throughout his career he was undefeated, and was said to have never once been hit by his opponent. He won the boxing tournament in the 207th Olympics.
Onomastos of Smyrna
When boxing was added as a sport in the 23 Olympiad in 688 B.C, Onomastos of Smyrna was the first ever victor. He was not only a Olympiad champion, he also created the rules for Greek boxing as well. Onomastos still holds a record that is remarkable even today, he was the Olympiad who has the most Olympic boxing titles.
Gaius Appuleius Diocles
Gaius Appuleius Diocles had a successful 24 year career as a Roman chariot racer where he competed in a total of 4,200 races and won 1,462 of them. These wins made him one of the richest men in Rome.
Considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, Theagenes was a boxer, pankratiast and a runner. He scored the championship during the boxing tournament in the 75th Olympiad of 480 B.C. He also won in the Pankration game in the next Olympics.
These are some of the great sports heroes of the ancient world, it would be interesting to see how they stack up against today’s superstars.