A prevailing theme of the upcoming Olympics to be held in Greece is that games are coming home. This will be especially true on August 18 when for one day only the shot-put competition will be held in the archaeological site of ancient Olympia itself.
Amongst the ruins of the sanctuary of Olympia that date back as far as 776 B.C., the Olympics were born. It is today an archeological site where the ancient Olympic past is studied and preserved. The statue of Zeus, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, once stood here.
Temple artwork recovered is on display at the nearby museum Some of the temple artwork has been recovered and is on display at the nearby museum. Time, floods, earthquakes and war have destroyed much of the past.
But on August 18 approximately 60 athletes from around the world will again enter the ancient stadium of Olympia to compete in the Athens 2004 Olympics. This one-day event will host the shot-put competition. USA Decathlon athlete Tom Pappas is among those scheduled to participate. And for the first time ever, women, who were excluded from the games in ancient times, will compete for Olympic gold.
Ancient stadium in Olympia will hold the shot-put competition To preserve the integrity of this historical site, no banners or corporate logos will be displayed during the competition. Electronic devices will be kept at a minimum. The 15,000 spectators will sit on the grass surrounding the field. And tickets for these events will be free.