View Full Version : Ancient Olympics

Doug Mcclymont
10-20-1997, 12:49 PM
Hi everybody,

A question that requires not only an answer but some reference for
the proof.

A colleague who teaches History of Physical Education has provided me
with a "Teaching Guide to the Ancient Games" which describes a video
made by Xerox Films, narrated by Erich Segal, and featuring Rafer
Johnson and Bill Toomey.

The Teaching Guide states that the world record for the broad
jump is 55ft and was set in 478 BC. This ancient record was made
possible because "the ancient jumpers carried four pounds of rock in
each hand".

My response was to ask my colleague to ask the students to tell her
how this was possible, using any biomechanical principle they wished
but that transfer of momentum might be a good place to start. I'm
afraid she's more ready to believe Erich and Bill and Rafer than

The same resource tells me too that the ancient javelin record was/is
30ft beyond todays 90+m as the implement was thrown with the
assistance of a leather thong.

I'd really appreciate a good reference that I might direct my
colleague to!

Doug McClymont
(senior lecturer in Physical Education)
Christchurch College of Education
P.O.Box 31-065
New Zealand