In the Washington Post, Sally Jenkins explains the history of the Olympics:
"The truth is that Ancient Greeks competed naked rather than clothed, forbade females from contending for medals as well as watching, and didn't give prizes for second and third place, because all they cared about was winning. Moreover, the sacred truce didn't always work. Not all wars stopped.
"Greg Anderson, an associate professor of classics at Wright State who studies games in Greek history, said: 'The modern Olympics are essentially one huge invented modern tradition. Almost nothing about them is authentically ancient.' Anderson, who has published in scholarly journals on the subject of Greek athletes and the Olympic tradition, does see some parallels between 700 B.C. and 2004, but not the ones you might expect. 'The most 'authentic' features of the modern Games are the ruthless political and commercial exploitation that goes with them, the celebrity of leading athletes, and the sheer magnitude of the Olympics,' he contends. "