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Olympic Origins

01
Aug
2012
 

By Christine Lovatt

With the Olympic Games upon us, it’s quite interesting to see the origins of the names of some Olympic sports.

The name 'Olympics' comes from where it all started, in Olympia, a district in ancient Greece where athletic contests were held every four years.

Badminton Badminton is played with a battledore and shuttlecock. Battledore comes from the Portuguese batedor, meaning ‘stick for beating washing’ and shuttlecock comes from shuttle, the back-and-forth action of the weaving loom and cock from the feathers.

Badminton itself is named after the country seat of the Duke of Beaufort, Badminton House, in Gloucestershire, where the game first became popular.

Tennis comes from the French tenez meaning ‘take heed’ from the call made by server to opponent.

TaekwondoTaekwondo comes from the Korean tae - ‘kicking or destroying with the foot’, kwon - ‘punching with the fist’ and do - ‘the way’, so together it means 'a way of kicking and punching'.

Archery comes the Latin arcus, meaning ‘bow’; equestrian from the Latin equus (horse) and aquatics derives from the Latin aqua (water).

Many of our Olympic sports, appropriately enough, have names that originated in Greece. Cycling comes from kuklos ‘circle’, and gymnastics from gumnazein ‘to exercise naked’.

The word 'athlete' comes from the Greek athlein ‘to contend for a prize’ from athlon ‘prize’. Athlon is used with Greek number prefixes bi (two), tri (three), penta (five) and deca (ten) to make biathlon, triathlon, pentathlon and decathlon.

Happy puzzling!

Christine

 

NOTE FROM JESSIE:

Our Olympics promotion continues this week: enter our Trivia Tournament for the chance to WIN great prizes!

You can also test your (virtual) athletic abilities with our three sporty games, developed exclusively for the Western Australian Institute of Sport . Try them all:

Take the White Water Slalom Challenge!

Compete in the 400m Hurdles!

Mountain Bike your way to victory!

 

3 Responses to

Olympic Origins

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said:
August 03, 2012 at 7:31 AM

"Go for Gold' doesn't seem to be working so well for us. Maybe we should refocus on 'Try Your Best','Have a Go' or my favourite, 'Compete with Honour'.

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said:
August 03, 2012 at 6:50 PM

think all the australian team are doing well good on them at least they are not cheating

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linmor said:
August 03, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I agree with Jaffa. As a keen yachtie I am most proud of our sailing team