Podcast/The Lost Sport of Olympia
 Eli Hunt - Thelostgames.com - Podcasts
 The Lost Sport of Ancient Olympia
- Watch the podcast at thelostgames.com
- Watch the podcast at dotSUB
- Downloadable slides are included in the transcript below
This transcript appears to be hand typed rather than copied from the subtitles, so I've correct several spelling errors and formatting. Eventually I'd like to replace it with the actual text, so we can ensure correct spellings.
- The Lost Sport of Ancient Olympia with Historian Eli Hunt
- Most of you listening to this podcast will not believe the story I'm about to tell you. How is it possible you will ask that the greatest sport of all time has been forgotten for almost 2,000 years.
- The painted shard which dates to 740 BC shows a footrace with the Olympic stadium in the background. It's a common image from the era and there would be nothing remarkable about it except for one very strange detail. On Pyron's Shard the Olympic runners are blindfolded.
- To the team of German archaeologists who find the shard this detail is both exciting and confounding. There's no record of a blindfolded sport at any time during the ancient Olympics. But before the team can convince historians of the shard dazzling archaeological finding captures the world's attention.
- On the island he unearths a plaque commemorating the victory of an ancient Olympian named Demetros in a sport that is referred to only as paignia aletheia megas -- the most important game. The plaque is dated the first year of the 153rd Olympiad or 164 BC a year for which historians have thorough documentation of the winners.
- He is shamed into an early retirement and the pieces of the story of the lost sport fade into obscurity. Until now. Over the last ten years I've been researching Wach's discoveries and I believe them to be genuine. Using luminescence dating I've determined that the Corinthian tablet was defaced during the time of ancient Greece. Were the Greeks responsible for destroying their own sacred documents"
- Why would they do that? The shard the tablet and the mysterious athlete all point to a sport that the Greeks revered above all others. Why isn't it documented anywhere? Maybe it is. I have a theory that the evidence for the lost sport of Olympia has been hiding in plain sight for millennia.
- And so we are left today with many more questions than answers. Was there really ever a lost sport? If so how was it played? And why was it considered the most important of all ancient games?
- If the lost sport indeed existed we can only assume that the ancient Greeks themselves conspired to hide it from the rest of the world. But what would make them go to such lengths to conceal it? Even with my new research it's much easier to say that Mortiz Wach was mistaken than it is to accept that everything we think we know about the ancient Olympics may be wrong. But if Wach is right if the Greeks did hide the truth then perhaps there are more clues out there for those of us who look closely enough.
 Slide details
 Corinthian Tablet
 Demetros Plaque
Available at the end of the podcast
How much do you know about the Lost Sport of Olympia?
Try the quiz.
1. Who was Pyron?
- A discredited Austrian archaeologist
- A champion Olympic athlete
- The inventor of the ancient Olympics
- A wealthy patron of the ancient Olympics
2. What is Pyron’s shard?
- An ancient weapon designed for hand-to-hand combat
- A 2500 year old piece of pottery showing a blindfolded footrace
- A fragment of an Olympic athlete’s funeral urn
- A stone used to mark the opening ceremonies of the Olympiad
3. What was Mortiz Wach’ first discovery?
- A plaque outlawing blindfolded sports
- Proof that Pyron’s Shard was a fake
- Jewels belonging to Helen of Troy
- A mysterious athletic training guide
4. What was recorded on that plaque that Mortiz Wach found in Antikythera?
- A tribute to an unknown Olympic hero named Demetros
- A diagram showing the arm movements for a lost sport
- A defaced ode to the Olympic gods
- Directions to the site of an Oympic gymnasium
5. What does the ancient Greek phrase paignia aletheia megas mean?
- The greatest prize
- The strongest athlete
- The most honored god
- The most important game