Ah, now this sounds refreshing. The Nemean Games are held at an ancient athletic stadium in Greece; anybody can compete. And where else can you sprint on a fourth-century clay track?
Here’s some background from The Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games:
It was at Nemea that the ancient Greeks celebrated athletic and religious festivals that were part of the cycle of games at Delphi, Isthmia, and (best known today) Olympia. It was at one of these four sites that, for a brief period each year, wars and hostilities were suspended by a sacred truce, and all Greeks gathered in recognition of their common humanity. This impulse toward peace – albeit limited to a few days each year — was the first in the history of mankind on an organized, regular, and international scale. Thus, the festivals at Nemea, Olympia, Delphi, and Isthmia are the direct ancestors of today’s United Nations and Olympic movement. The ancient stadium discovered at Nemea is, therefore, an important monument in the history of such institutions.
And you’ve gotta like the attitude of the whole thing, too:
The Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games believes that there is scope for the average person to participate in such an international athletic festival where no records will be kept and no medals awarded. Races will be organized by gender and age, and all participants will be rewarded only by feet sore from contact with the same stones and the same soil where ancient feet ran more than 2,000 years ago. [continue]
This article on the University of Berkeley website has a great photo of the judges.
- Races Held in Greek Stadium Imitate Bygone Olympic Times – The Daily Californian
- Nemea 2008 – berkley.edu. (photos!)
- Be worthy of victory: the Nemean Games – travelpod.com
- Reviving Nemea’s Games -archaeology.org
- Society for the Renewal of the Nemean Games – berkeley.edu
- Nemean Games – Wikipedia