The Evolution of Athletics

Many people refer to sporting activities in general as athletic or athletic activities. However, in its original meaning, athletic refers only to track-and-field sporting activities such as running, jumping, and throwing (and later, cycling).

Athletics is mostly associated with professional athletic training rather than recreational workout in a 24-hour gym in Palm Desert. When we say athletics, most people would also think of the Olympics.

Let’s take a look at the history of athletics from the very beginning to the 21st century.

Athletics in Ancient Greece

When we think of the Ancient Greeks, we almost always imagine a bunch of pretty athletic guys discussing philosophy. While the concept of a health or fitness club did not exist at the time, physical fitness was given a lot of attention. With the attention also came the spotlight, so Ancient Greeks started recognizing the best athletes among them. They started organizing competitions which evolved into what we now know as the Olympics.

The first Olympics is said to have taken place some time in the 8th or 9th century B.C. The majority of the sporting events included were what we now call athletic events or track-and-field. Those were: running (mostly sprints from one end of the stadium to the other, called stades), jumping, discus and the javelin. Wrestling was included, forming the pentathlon with the aforementioned four athletic events. Other events included boxing and equestrian events.

The revival of the Olympics

Athletic competition only became popular worldwide in the 19th century. As a result, the first Modern Olympics was organized in Athens, Greece in 1896. At the time, fourteen nations participated and competed in the following disciplines: hurdles, pole vault, javelin, shot put, jump (long, triple and high jump).

Athletic competition from the 19th century onwards

The first Olympics propelled the already growing popularity of athletics. National athletic federations started forming. In 1912, the federations of seventeen countries formed the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).

The Summer Olympics continued to be the most high-profile athletic competition until the second half of the 20th century. It was then that athletic championships started taking place on a global level, in addition to world competitions in different sporting events.

The IAAF regulates around 50 outdoor and 25 indoor sporting events. The athletic and overall sporting events have been modified throughout the years; for example, there is a 13.1-mile half marathon in addition to the 26.2 mile-marathon. Men and women have separate competitions in almost every athletic and sporting event.

Train like a pro athlete in the best fitness club in Palm Desert

World Gym Palm Desert boasts the reputation of a leading fitness and health club in Palm Desert, CA. Our instructors, group and personal trainers have their own specialties, and we provide a variety of classes and workout programs. Choose your athletic discipline and we will help you achieve top results.

Be prepared to work hard and never give up! World Gym Palm Desert provides a familiar and encouraging environment, where you can learn to work out like an athlete, eat healthy, and live a rich and energized life!

Try out different classes and athletic activities in our award-winning fitness club. We provide you with a 7-day pass so you can try out different things for free and then decide!