Early morning starts and dodgy breakfasts had become a source of relentless frustration from most boys on the tour, today was no exception. However, much of this frustration had dissipated once we reached the site of Olympia after a lengthy three minute bus trip. There we were greeted by our tour guide, Arasteia, who begun our tour of the site. 


Walking through the site, it was not hard to imagine the atmosphere of the site during the ancient Olympic Games which begun at the site in 776 BC. The paths we walked let us indulge in the lifestyle of the athletes with many buildings to the side showing us their training and eating habits. One such building was the Palaistra which was a large square building with a courtyard in the centre used for training for fighting and jumping events. We also saw the Temple of Zeus which, we were told, had a statue of Zeus, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, which was 13 metres high and was made of ivory and gold. 


Before long we reached the stadium which was built in 350 BC and was equivalent in length to 600 of Heracles’ footsteps. Next on the agenda was a race, open to all tour attendees. However, in the end, only around half the tour decided to race. Lined up and ready to go, boys had done their best to give themselves the best advantage with some wearing their caps backwards for improved aerodynamics and others removed excess clothing for weight reduction. A minority of boys however, had either removed shoes or were wearing sandals to remain authentic to the traditional style of the Ancient Greek Olympics. After a count-down from Mr Pyne, we were off with boys wearing running sneakers gaining the immediate advantage. Competitive the for the entire length, Rhett Schlaphoff ended up with the victory and took home a wreath as part of a improvised prize-giving ceremony. However, the real victory must go to Luke Mesterovic who, even though came in last place, competed without shoes in true authentic, Ancient Greek style. 

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After the excitement of the race, filled with adrenaline, we visited the air-conditioned museum which was scattered with artefacts found throughout the site of Olympia. Some interesting pieces included an array of bronze Corinthian helmets as well as the original statue of Hermes. 


An uneventful four-hour bus ride to our last stop followed. Many boys found different ways to entertain themselves, some listening to music, others playing an array of mobile games and most were sleeping. However the Greek boys were intent with swinging their komboloi’s in various fashions and having competitions. However, no-one could beat the komboloi champion, Anthony Papadimitriou. 


The afternoon was then spent at leisure at the hotel with most boys either spending time in the pool or at the beach. Overall, it was a solid day and we are looking forward to our final days in Greece.


Peter Pontifix