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Last Update: 27 Mar 2021


Pelops, the mythical founder of the Olympic Games

King Pelops, mythical founder of the Olympic Games

"Since all men are compelled to die, why should someone sit and wait for an inglorious old age in the darkness, and not share fine deeds? "
Pelops, founder of the ancient Greek Olympic Games

The Bronze Spear of Oenomaus

Oenomaus was a king of Pisa in the Peloponnese/Southern Greece and a son of Ares, the god of war. He had three children, including the beautiful Hippodamia (the "horse tamer").

One day Oenomaus received a prophecy that the marriage of his daughter would bring about his death. For this reason, Oenomaus tried to prevent Hippodamia from marrying. He therefore organized a chariot race, which was held at Ancient Olympia, and killed all the suitors who came to participate in the race.

But then young Pelops came along and asked Poseidon, the god of the seas, to withhold the bronze spear of Oenomaus. Poseidon, who was kind to Pelops, gave him a golden chariot and winged horses, and Pelops succeeded in defeating Oenomaos in the chariot race.

It is said that Pelops' victory inspired the founding of the Olympic Games. Eventually, Pelops took Hippodamia as his bride and the couple gave birth to many splendid children.

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