THE OLYMPIC ATHLETE OF THE ANCIENT OLYMPIC GAMES
Every four years the focus of the world is fixed upon the Olympic Games – an event which celebrates the unity of mankind and puts the world’s finest athletes to the test. These games originated with the ancient Greeks, who were as fond of athletic competition as they were of war, religion, poetry, wine and music. One of the most vivid scenes of athletics appears on this silver coin.
Of great significant to the people of aspendus, a city near the southern coast of modern Turkey, was the sling, which served not only as a measure of athletic skill, but also had practical applications in hunting and in war. The featured side of this coin depicts a slinger preparing to discharge a sling bullet. Wrestling was one of many athletic competitions of the Olympics and the other games held at major cities throughout the Greek world.
The reverse of this piece depicts two nude wrestlers grasping each other by the forearms, preparing to face off for a match. This event is still practiced in the modern Olympic Games as “Greco-Roman Wrestling.”