Athletes performed in sports as an act of worship to the gods. There were four major competitions an athlete could enter. The four competitions were the Olympic Games (held at Olympia), the Pythian Games (held at Delphi), the Isthmian Games (held at Corinth), and the Nemean Games (held at Nemea). If an athlete won all four games, they were given the title periodonikes meaning “multiple champion.” Any athlete who won a contest at any of the major games was treated much like a modern day movie star. They were given gifts by rich citizens of the city-state they represented.
Athletes competed in events still used today in the modern Olympics, with a few differences. First, women did not compete in these games. During the Olympic Games women held their own event in honor of Hera, the queen of the gods. Another difference was that all athletes competed naked.