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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Let's run the Olympics like the ancient Greeks did: all nude

Chatelaine magazine has an on-line photo spread of six of Canada's male winter Olympic athletes in various stages of undress. The picture at right is of skier Kyle Nissen, wearing nothing but gloves, skis strategically placed. So here's an idea - lets start staging the Olympic games with nude athletes, just like they did in ancient Greece. I think it would do wonders for TV ratings.

The ancient Greek Olympic games were held every four years from 776 BC to 393 AD. The tradition of nudity at the games was introduced in 720 BC by the Spartans. In fact, the word gymnasium is derived from the Greek word meaning "place to be naked". The origins of this tradition were apparently aesthetic more than athletic:
While the origins of physical exercise regimes cannot be pinpointed, the practice of exercising in the nude had its beginnings in the seventh century BC. It is believed that the custom began in Sparta, and while various theories have been advanced, it is commonly thought that the main reason for the convention was the appreciation of the beauty of the male body. The same purpose is frequently attributed to the tradition of oiling the body, a custom so costly that it required significant public and private subsidies (the practice was the largest expense in gymnasia).
One of the most amazing things about the modern Olympic games is the fact that every four years the world's most astonishingly fit young men and women gather in one place for two weeks. I think its time to start lobbying the IOC to return to the ancient tradition of having them compete completely naked and oiled up. Granted, it might be problematic in the winter, but I'm sure we can come up with a technical fix for that.


Brahm said...

That's awesome - gonna go check that out - in Chatelaine, of all places, thae magazine my grandmother used to read!

Anonymous said...

Better yet is to let this money sucking, political ego building sham fade into obscurity. It is nothing more than a less bloody equivalent of the games in the Roman Coliseum.

Backseat Blogger said...

hmmm... olympics in the nude.

now there's a project i really could get behind.

Big Red Magnum said...

That would boost the TV ratings and think of the records that would be set...Team Canada beats Team USA 87-71 for the hockey gold.
But I'm with Powell on this one, let it die off or at least quit calling it the Olympics, the Olympics are for amateur athletes and there are none competing, they are all full time paid pros on constant tour.