The Olympics Are Upon Us!

August 20th, 2016

Every four years the world has the unique experience of watching phenomenal athletes from around the globe compete against one another other. Right now, over 11,000 athletes have travelled to the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, hoping to seize the podium and capture a coveted Olympic medal.

Interestingly, one Summer Olympic event that has strong ties to ancient Greece’s Olympic Games is the javelin throw. Originally, the sport was first modelled after hunting and warfare. Differing from a spear, the javelin was fairly light and could be thrown a considerable distance.

In ancient Greece, the javelin throw was a part of the pentathlon event, which was a series of five sports including running, wrestling, discus throw, and jumps. Today, the javelin throw is key component to Olympic track and field events.

One of Nanaimo’s very own Phil Olsen competed in the 1976 Olympics and is one of the most decorated track and field athletes in Canada, still holding numerous Provincial and National records in Javelin.

Fun fact, Rio is the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics. (From the Collection of the Nanaimo Museum)

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