Jane the Olympic Champion

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 09, 2008

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Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We arrived at Olympia on a gorgeous day to see the site of the first ancient Olympics, the site where the Olympic torch still begins its journey every four years.

We went to the track where the footraces were held. Indy showed us how the sprinters would pose as they lined up on the track, and then all the young men in the program raced while the young women took bets on the winner. Jane the track athlete, who runs every morning with his professors back at his home university in Ohio, was triumphant and he posed for his own victory statue. Later we saw the practice field where the Olympians worked out, and Jane did pushups and situps in preparation for his next sprint.

Not everybody wanted to run the races, so instead some of the students ran to the top of the spectator hill and rolled down, rolling into each other in the process.

Then we saw the gigantic temple to Zeus, with its columns toppled like slices of sausage by an earthquake in the sixth century BCE.

Finally we went to the workshop of Pheidias, the famous sculptor who created the ornamentation on the Parthenon, the giant chryselephantine sculpture of Athena Parthenos, and the Olympian Zeus statue that was so massive that if it had been able to rise from its seated position, its head would have punched through the roof of the temple. Pheidias designed his workshop on the Olympia site so it was the exact dimensions of the room in the temple where his Zeus statue would sit. In the following centuries, his workshop was turned into a Byzantine church.

We left the Olympia site as the sun was setting, and dined together at a local taverna. That night, Sunshine and Indy went out to a disco club with the students, and rumor has it that Indy can really shake his suspenders to "Gangster's Paradise."
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