Diving into The Olympics

By Tara Blair

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Zeus prepares to hurl his trademark thunderbolts.

More than 70% of the world’s population tune in to the Olympics, it’s no surprise that the event is ranked as the most common shared experience on Earth. We know the world is well informed of the quadrennial event held and are patiently waiting for August 5th. I backtracked nearly 3,000 years on Gale resources to uncover some knowledge and history most fans are unaware of.

Read what I found!

Originating in 776 BCE, the Olympics began as a festival to honor the mythological Greek god, Zeus. As the son to the supreme god of time, Cronus, and goddess of fertility, Rhea,  Zeus was the leader of the heavens and earth. After overthrowing his father through a tremendous war with a few devoted Titans and his destructive thunderbolts, Zeus proceeded to take control of the universe. Ruling from their court on Mt. Olympus, Zeus, as well as the other Titans, became known as Olympian gods. As the story goes, religious festivals developed on the foot of the mountain to worship Zeus and approach his strength. In order to commemorate the greatest of all gods, the Greeks believed they should offer him the best of everything , which included dexterous athleticism. Thus, the Olympics were born.

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Fact-Checking Movie “History”with Gale Resources

Posted on March 14, 2016

By Traci Cothran

I love the way movies inspired by historical events bring the past so vividly to life, especially for students who have never heard of these past events or notable people. But sometimes films stray from the facts in favor of presenting a stronger cinematic experience. I watched “Race” – the story about Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics – and wondered what was factual and what was “movie magic.” Students can use their brains and fingertips to search Gale databases –  like U.S. History In Context, Students Resources In Context, and Research In Context – to find out the truth, by investigating the following:

  • Following Jesse Owens’ gold medal wins, did Hitler shake Owens’ hand? (Bonus question: Did US President FDR ever welcome Owens to the White House?)
  • Were Owens and other African-American students allowed to live in student housing at Ohio State University?
  • Did German athlete Luz Long mark the takeoff area to help Owens qualify for the long jump?
  • Was that part in the movie where Owens had a romance with another woman (not his future wife) during college factual?
  • Did Owens capture 4 world records within 45 minutes at the 1935 Big Ten Track & Field Championship?
  • Why were US sprinters Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller scratched from the 4 x 100 event?

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