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We Recreated The Ancient Olympics And They Were Naked, Oily, And Dirty

The Try Guys recreate ancient Olympic events butt-naked, and learn that they were very different from the Games we know and love today.

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With the Olympics just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than to pay homage to its surprising history? The Try Guys decided to test their strength, endurance, and shamelessness and recreate the ancient Olympic games:

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Special thanks to the Getty Villa, Shelby Brown, PhD and Desiree Zenowich for educating us on the rich history of the ancient Greek games.

The Olympic Games were called that because they took place in Olympia, originating in 776 B.C. They were originally a religious festival meant as a way for men to prepare for war.

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We've come a long way, from war-training to friendly sport.

After over 1,000 years of Olympics, they ended in the late 4th century A.D., under Christianity (since the various Games were associated with pagan gods). There was a very long period without them, but they were later reinvented in the 19th century. / Via

They were finally brought back in 1896, after ancient Greek culture became popular in Europe. Those first modern games were also held in Greece. The reinvented international version is what we continue to celebrate today.

Since the guys were trying to keep things ~historically accurate,~ that meant they would have to compete naked. Literally with their dicks and balls out.

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It's possible that the athletes competed naked because it was more comfortable. It's also possible that ancient Greeks were just really into the beauty of naked men.

Also, athletes rubbed their naked bodies in olive oil before they competed. Lots and lots of olive oil.

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It was thought to protect their skin from the sun and other weather conditions.

Oh yeah, and the ancient Greeks also valued the foreskin of the penis (they weren't circumcised) and would tie it up with a string or cord called a kynodesme to, you know, keep it from floppin' around during the events.

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TMI, but Keith was the only one who could try this tradition out.

To reiterate: you were butt-ass naked. Smothered in olive oil. With your dick tied up with a string. Before you even did anything.

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Imagine if athletes still competed like this today. The broadcasts would be way more fun.

Each Olympic athlete represented a different city-state. So, each Try Guy chose a different city-state: Ned would fight for Nemea, Zach would represent Athens, Keith would battle for Corinth, and Eugene would try and bring home the gold for Delphi.

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You had to be of Greek descent and speak the language in order to compete in the ancient Games, so athletes came from all over the Mediterranean.

Also, only men could compete in the Olympics (sorry, ladies).

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Again, ancient Greeks really loved beautiful naked men. Aside from separate boys' and men's categories, there were no major classification of athletes based on age or size, so you could really go up against anyone.

Although the Try Guys couldn't compete in all the historical events, they recreated three events from the pentathlon (long jump, discus throwing, and wrestling), and a 200 meter footrace.

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There were far fewer events in the ancient Olympics, which included things like chariot races, running in armor, or beating the living shit out of each other in an event called pankration.

First up was long jump (halma), which was very different in ancient times. It included running about 10 meters and propelling yourself forward using hand weights.

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The hand weights were called halteres and weighed about 1-3 kg. Long jump competitors had to stick the landing perfectly, similar to modern day gymnasts. While this was going on, a flute player would provide a beat for the athletes.

The next event was discus (diskos). Unlike modern discus, ancient throwers did not spin around in circles to gain momentum for their throw, which makes it way tougher to throw long distances.

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The discus was also heavier than the standard one used today, and the discus-thrower was called diskobolos in ancient Greece.

The third event was wrestling (palé), which is, overall, the most similar to how we wrestle today, except you did it in the dirt. And, you know, still naked.

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In the ancient Olympics, the rules for wrestling included no eye-gouging or biting. Competitors had to start with their foreheads touching, and get their opponents' backs, shoulders, or hips onto the dirt.

So yes, you got very, very dirty, so add filthy on top of sweaty and oiled up.

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The Olympic Games were not known for their comfort, especially for the athletes being naked and dirty in the heat, but you did it for glory.

Speaking of discomfort for the athletes, you could get flogged by officials if you were caught cheating or with a false start. That's right: in front of everybody, you'd get your ass beat.

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In art, officials are often depicted carrying large sticks or switches.

Finally, it was time for the 200m race (stadion). In the ancient Olympics, being the fastest athlete was valued over all other events.

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Runners didn't start crouched down as low as they do today, and a rope was dropped to begin the race and prevent false starts. If you won the footrace in Olympia, the entire calendar for the year would be based on you.

Another huge difference between the ancient and modern Olympics is that there was only one winner for each event. Second and third place didn't exist: it was a single victor, and everyone else was pretty much a loser.

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Gold, silver, and bronze medals are part of the modern Olympic tradition.

You'd win a wreath, a palm, and ribbons. No money. No medals. No endorsement deals. Basically, a victor won leaves.

And the final tradition the guys participated in? Well, things got a little gross. The victors would scrape the oil, sweat, and dirt off of their bodies, collecting the goop (gloios) and selling it for its healing powers.

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They would use a stlengis, a metal tool, to scrape off the dirty oil, called gloios. By Roman times, the gloios was sold as an ointment meant to heal inflammation, including inflammation of the genitals. You read that correctly: someone would pay good money for a victor's sweat-dirt-oil and rub it on their own junk.

In conclusion, the Olympics were incredibly different in ancient Greece, since you won't be seeing naked wrestling or buying a medalist's body goop in Rio this year.*

Anything can happen when you're watching something that has continued to be as special, inspiring, and historic as the Olympic Games.

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If they've changed this much since ancient times, who knows what they will look like another thousand years from now? (Fingers crossed we get naked and oily again).

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