When we speak of athletics, we tend to think about all sports. Athletics encompasses track and field, cross-country running, and road running. Most athletics activities involve running, jumping, or throwing by one athlete, sometimes with multiple participants like in mixed events (heptathlon, decathlon), which people love to bet on. New Customer Offer from Betvictor.

While the Olympics are most commonly associated with athletic events, these events can also be held elsewhere. There are youth competitions as well as those for college and high school athletes. Additionally, professional athletics competitions take place throughout the year.

Modern athletics are now more widely understood than ever. Names like Jessica Ennis Hill and Usain Bolt will remain in the hearts of generations. But where and when did it all start?

Ancient Greece

We need to look back to the past to understand the history, which is why we have to travel to ancient Greece. Even though the Olympic Games from Ancient Greece are quite different from the ones currently held, there is some similarity.

The 8th-century B.C. was when the first competitions were held. These first competitions were held in the 8th century B.C. They covered many of the current activities. The competition included boxing, as did equestrian, but the main focus was on what we know today as Athletics. These track events included javelin throwing, running, discus, and jumping. They could be performed in their own right or combined with wrestling to make the pentathlon. There were many categories available for the running events. These categories depended upon how many "stades" the athlete had. A stade was a one-time fast run, approximately 190m, from one end of a stadium to the next. There were two-stade and seven-stade races. But there were also 24-stade and more challenging races. For the most persistent and brave competitors, there were four-stade (or two-stade) races. In these races, athletes had to wear armor.

Modern Olympics

Although the Olympic games didn't last centuries, running and throwing continue to be part of many cultures. In the 19th-century, the interest in the sports above grew across Europe and America. After the inclusion of the activity in the school curriculum, it became an everyday part of life for most people. The return to Olympic Games also inspired people to get more involved with athletics. Athens hosted the first-ever modern Olympic Games. Fourteen nations sent representatives from their respective countries to take part. This included shot put (pole vault), javelin/discus, long jumps and high jumps, triple jump; 100m, 400ms, 800ms, 1500ms; 110-meter hurdles.

After the Olympic Games' remarkable revival, there was renewed interest in all things athletics. In 1912, 17 countries all over the world came together to form the International Amateur Athletic Federation. It created athletic competitions that would be held all year round in the 1970s.

21st Century Athletics

The thrill of the athlete's performance and the excitement it brings to the crowd is what Athletics has remained since its inception over 100 years ago. Today, there are 25 indoor and twice so many outdoor athletic events. While some events have been added to school programs, others are modified.