Is it true that there were creative competitions in the Olympic Games before?

Is it true that there were creative competitions in the Olympic Games before?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
September, 2021

Art contests (architecture, painting, sculpture, literature, music) were held at the Olympic Games from 1912 to 1948 at the suggestion of Pierre de Coubertin himself (the founder of the modern Olympic movement). The specific details of the art competitions were modified from 1912 to 1948, but the basic rules remained the same. All entries had to be sport-inspired and original and were not allowed to be made public before the Olympic Games. As in sports competitions, awards in gold, silver and bronze medals were provided for in art competitions. Authors were allowed to present several of their works, but their number was limited.
Among the famous artists, few participated and won, but, for example, the composer and violinist Josef Suk in 1932 was awarded a silver medal for a symphony march, and brother W. B. Yates Joseph in 1924 received a silver award for the painting. At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, the gold medal for the "Olympic Festival Music for Orchestra" was received by the composer Werner Egk, who generally helped the Nazis with music a lot.

There is evidence that works of art were also presented at the ancient Olympic Games (Herodotus read his story, Aeschylus - excerpts from tragedies, rhapsodists - sang, artists presented their paintings, sculptors - sculptures, etc.), but apparently it was out of competition, as an additional cultural program. True, there is a story that Herodotus was awarded as the winner of the games for his story that amazed all listeners, but most likely this story was preserved precisely because it was an exceptional event.

Answer 2
September, 2021

No, the Delphic Games existed for this. They have the same long history and were arranged in honor of Apollo a year before the Olympic ones. The Olympic Games are purely sporting events.

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