Unveiling The Puzzle: What Is the Oldest Sport In The World?

What Is the Oldest Sport In The World

For many years, sports has been a pillar gluing the globe together. Populations converge for fun, competition, and even exercise. Sports like soccer, basketball, hockey, swimming, and others are a source of living for many participants globally. But have you ever tried to answer the question, “what is the oldest sport in the world?” If yes, this article comes to unravel the puzzle. Since the Paleolithic era, about 15,000 years back, human craft has showcased carvings depicting people in sports, and we can say that sports are as old as time.

The History and Evolution of Wrestling Sport

When wrestling is the idea, grappling, clinching, throwing, joint locks, take-downs, and pins click our minds. Many games are fun to watch and participate in, but wrestling brings both joy and history. No sport that’s older and more widely stretched than wrestling, mainly in highly local styles that have survived to the modern era. 

Wrestling is thought to have originated from normal hand –to hand combat and then into a sportive form of action that married the submission of a wrestler for their death. Human art working dating to 3000 BCE indicates belt wrestling in both Babylon and Egypt. 

Among many games that the ancient Greeks practiced, wrestling was perhaps the most popular sport. Wrestling schools were primary in teaching youthful men the way of life. The illustrations of this sport are well pronounced on the Greek vases and coins across the periods of ancient Greece. That said, it’s also evident that the Greeks majorly participated in loose wrestling, and just like all Greek athletes, wrestlers competed naked. From 776 BCE, wrestling was a sport in the Olympic Games. 

Here, wrestlers took part in two forms of championships:

  • The toppling event that was measured by the best two of three falls.
  • Pankration, which involved both wrestling and boxing, was measured by the submission of one of the contestants.

Upright wrestling is still featured in the pentathlon Olympic events, where athletes compete to clear-cut fall to one of the contestants. In this era, the head of the ring was Milon of Croton. He held the wrestling championship for six seasons in the Olympic Games. Wrestling was not prominent among the Romans as compared to the Greeks. After the fall of the Roman Empire, wrestling records vanished in Europe until 800 CE.

What Proves that Wrestling Is the Oldest Sport in the World?

What is the oldest sport in the world? This is a puzzle that many have invested mainly in getting rid of the confusion of time and records. Anciently, humans took part in running as a usual way of life before settling for an organized sport, and wrestling was birthed. Let’s open some records that prove this!

Every games enthusiast is familiar with the sound of the words “welcome to the greatest and oldest world sport .”These were the words of a public address announcer and veteran of the Olympic Games, Mr. Ed Aliverti, who passed on in 2010. Those were his introductory words in every arena, whether in a youth tournament or NCAA finals. The “greatest” phrase gave the Aroma, but the “oldest” took us to sports history.

The University of Columbia has become a home for some ancient gems. Here, the wrestling instruction document is displayed in the Rare Book. This manuscript was found in Egypt in the 1800s. According to Archaeological experts, these records date back between 100 and 200 AD. Here, the documents take us through detailed instructions on how to wrestle in the Greek language and are embedded on an 18-inch wide fragment of papyrus.

It is undoubtedly a historic finding. It’s the oldest instructional write-up on any sport known to humans to this date, as identified by Lee Roy Smith, who is also the executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Okla. According to the Hall of Fame, this manuscript was found in the late 1800s by some scholars from England’s Oxford University. Also, it was found in southwest Cairo, a region the habitation of the Greek Colonists. In 1907, the manuscript was part of papyrus fragments shipped to Columbia. At that time, the university was a member of schools that pioneered college wrestling in the United States.

Don Sayenga, a hall of fame Wrestling Historian, published a document that indicated the artifact contained the oldest instructions about wrestling sport. For instance, the record bears “pleckson” throughout the printout, which means which in English translates to “Fight it out” moreover, it also enlists the following pro-wrestling instructions:

  • Stand on the right side facing your opponent, and using the right hand; take a headlock to fight out.
  • Underhook with the right arm, wrap the arm around his, at the position of his underhook, and then launch an attack with the left foot. Push him away with the left arm, force the hold and fight out.
  • Stand up to your opponent’s side, attack with the foot, and fight out.

These instructions in the oldest manuscript clearly show that they were wrestling-based and prove why we can brand it the oldest sport.

Wrap up

Prehistoric sports have records in place, and ancient humans were innovative, inventive, and crafty to enjoy the luxury of sports. So, What is the oldest sport in the world? From javelin, gymnastics, and swimming to archery, wrestling is the oldest sport on record. Sports are vital in human life since they improve physical, psychological, and mental well-being. 

Moreover, from ancient Greece to the 21st century, sports have played essential roles in society. They’ve brought cultures together as a tool for peace and gluing human history. As some enjoy the fun, others perform wrestling as a source of income. If you are a wrestling professional or part in any ancient sports, then you have a reason to merry. You are a part of an idea that developed in thousands of years of history.