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Wrestling became the final event of the pentathlon, when it was introduced in 708 B.C. in the ancient Olympic Games, but it existed as a sport event on its own, as well. It was the last event to be held after the discus, the javelin, the long jump and the foot race and it designated the winner of the Pentathlon, the only crowned athlete of the Olympics. The most famous of all wrestlers was Milon of Croton. As a sport, the wrestling was highly valued as a form of military exercise without weapons.
Olympic Wrestling in Ancient Greece had many similarities with today’s Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling, but there were less rules than the modern Olympics have. Matches were held in an area filled with sand, the keroma. Once a match began, it continued without interval until one man had thrown to the ground his opponent three times. There were no divisions by weight. Contestants were allowed to trip, but not to bite, gouge, or punch. There were two kinds of Ancient Olympic Wrestling, the Kato Pale, which was ground wrestling and the Orthia Pale, which was upright wrestling.
The ancient Attic amphora with the wrestling scene in the Gymnasium is kept at the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.
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