Nudity at the Olympics

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY Here's an interesting article on the history of nudity at the ancient Greek Olympics.
According to historians in Belgium and Peking, it became customary for Greek athletes to exercise naked in the sixth century B.C. They point out that "gymnasium" and "gymnastics" come from the Greek "gymnazein" -- to train naked.

"... nudity had no negative connotation for the Greeks," they write at "(They) were proud of their naked bodies. They considered public nudity as a way to show their superiority over other people.

"According to some scholars, this superiority lays in the ideal of self-control: The gymasion was a source of sexual excitement for the athletes themselves. Through self-control, they could look calm and balanced."

Not all athletes were enamored of competing in the altogether, however. Whether out of modesty -- or, perhaps, comfort -- some chose to wear a thin, leather thong called a kynodesme (literally, "dog leash") to restrain the penis. One end was tied tightly around the foreskin while the other was attached to either a waist band or the base of the penis. You'll find this depicted in scenes on ancient Greek pottery.
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