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Ancient Olympics

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  • Ancient Olympics

    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