I was the reading origins of the ancient Olympics and realized that athletics was not a just part of ancient Greek history but also a part of their religious mythology. I could not find athletics in any Indian mythology and wondered if this had anything to do with the Indian mindset of not valuing any Olympic sport seriously, due to which we cut a sorry figure in every modern Olympic games. The best I could find in India that came close to sport was warriors based activities such as hunting, archery, sword fighting, horse/chariot racing or unarmed fighting to prove who is better than the other in combat skills. I also found games like gambling games and chess etc. This is not what I am looking for. I am looking for proper athletics similar to that of the ancient Olympics given below.
For the first thirteen Olympic Games starting from 776 B.C., the stadion or the 200 metre sprint (192 metres to be precise) was the only sport at the games. In 724 B.C during the 14th Olympiad, a second race called the diaulos was introduced in which athletes had to run from one end of the track to the other and run back to the starting line covering a distance of about 384 metres; roughly equal to the modern 400 metres sprint. Four years later in 15th Olympiad in 720 B.C. a 2,400 metre race called the dolichos was introduced at the Olympic Games. It was only in the 18th Olympiad in 708 B.C. that the first sport other than the foot race was added to the Olympic Games when wrestling and pentathlon were introduced.
Question: What are the various reference in Hindu mythology were athletics and sport competitions where held?
- Eusebius. Chronicon (English translation from Latin) at Attalus.org
- A Brief History of the Olympic Games, David C. Young