One of the sports most ancient in the world without a doubt is the athletics . Considered the king sport of all the Olympic Games , athletics is a sport that includes a series of different activities or sports that in some cases can even be combined.


What is athletics?

Athletics is a solid and organized sport that consists of a series of different sports events that are mainly based on running , jumping and throwing.


What does it consist of

Athletics consists of a group or set of disciplines that are grouped into races , throws , walking events , jumping and some combined events. They are sports activities that are based on speed , endurance , the height that athletes can achieve and the distances they can travel.


Athletics characteristics

Among its main characteristics we mention the following:

  • The competitions are generally held in stadiums or outdoors .
  • All disciplines need equipment such as poles, pucks, hurdles, obstacles and javelins.
  • Participants are supervised by specialized judges who are in charge of observing the way in which the athletes perform during the competition.
  • Some sports require the use of stopwatches to measure and verify times.
  • It is a professional discipline that is part of the Olympic Games.
  • The word comes from the Greek language, specifically from the word ” áethlos ” which in Spanish means fighter or competitor .


It is believed, according to studies, that the origin of athletics dates back to 776 BC . With the beginning of the Olympic Games in Greece , the term began to be spoken of as a sporting practice. At this time it was known by the name of pentathlon , a sport that consisted of the practice of the discus and the javelin, running and jumping.


The first Greek Olympics took place between 776 and 393 BC At that time, only men participated and little by little more sports disciplines were introduced. There was a time when the games were no longer so important but were later taken up by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1984 , when he managed to form the International Olympic Committee in Paris. With their advancement and the influence of the committee, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens .

In 1928 , female athletics was allowed in the Olympics and little by little more women were introduced to the world of sports. During the first half of the 20th century , the practice of sport took on much more value and several important countries decided to focus on it. The United States , the United Kingdom, France and the Nordic countries have been countries that have contributed a lot to athletics.

Who invented it

Athletics was invented by the people of ancient Greece .


The disciplines that enter into competition in athletics events are:

  • Speed ​​races : these are perhaps the best known in the world and have been around since the beginning of the sport. They are a route that athletes take in a space that has 100 or 400 meters.
  • Long distance races: they are a series of tests in which athletes must travel a space greater than 3000 meters.
  • Medium-distance races : the distance covered is between the distances of the two aforementioned races.
  • Road races : they are not part of the Olympic Games but fall within the athletics category.
  • Jumps : this type of test is performed with the help of a pole. The athlete should gain enough momentum to try to jump as far as possible. It is a test to reach the maximum height.
  • Throws : the athlete must throw a certain object with a specific weight to try to make it go as long as possible. In the throws, there are tests such as the javelin, hammer throw and weight.
  • Combined tests : in this case, several disciplines are put to the test. Includes runs, jumps, and throws.

Female athletics

Women’s athletics began to gain importance at the end of the 19th century when university competitions were held, mainly in countries such as the United States. In France , women began to participate in 1903. With the passage of time, they managed to enter more important competitions such as the Olympic Games and world championships.


The main championship that includes athletics is the Olympic Games that are held every four years. There are others also of great importance, such as the World Championships in Athletics and the World Athletics Championships in Indoor . In addition, all the federations of the countries are in charge of developing competitions internally so that the athletes remain active. The championship of Asia, Europe and so on, are part of all competitions.


The rules of athletics are quite strict in order to keep the competition fair. In races , athletes must maintain a standing position and leave the starting blocks after the judge gives the order and after the judge fires the starting whistle . Athletes cannot push themselves, nor can they act as an obstacle to others. The transmission zones that are placed on the track must be respected and the witness must be carried to the finish line.

In the jump, the bar must be completely fixed , the players will make the jump depending on an initial draw . Each and every athlete has a limited time and also has three different attempts to perform the jump. The jump must be validated by a judge . In addition, in competitions, if the athlete has a dual nationality , he or she can only represent the country after having been in the country permanently for three years. Athletes can also and will be subjected to anti – doping tests and depending on the results they can be penalized.


The athletics equipment will be depending on the competition that is running. In the case of racing, the track , the starting blocks , the starting posts , an anemometer and a chronometer system are essential . In the high jump and pole vault, the mats for the athletes to fall are essential as well as the bars , cleats , weights , discs , javelins and hammers . In general , the clothing will consist of ajersey , shorts and special shoes .

Basketball court

When the competition is in the open air then stadiums that have an oval-shaped track and that measure at least 400 meters long can be used . Running tracks have two straights and two curves that are equal to each other. The length is 200 meters and the number of lanes must be between 4 and 6. The texture of the track is made of a type of clay or synthetic material such as polyurethane . The launch areasthey have an impulse zone, which is a circle and whose diameter varies depending on the sport discipline. The javelin throw requires a minimum track of 36 meters with a width of 4. For the long jump and for the triple jump, the track is necessary and must be 40 meters long and 1.22 meters wide . It must also have a reception pit which must be filled with fine- textured sand .

Athletics benefits

Athletics is a sport that has the ability to increase and improve the health of those who practice it considerably. Increases flexibility , strengthens bones and joints , improves movement, and encourages the use of concentration . The physical resistance of the body is also increased and surprisingly strengthens the immune system of the human body. It is also a good option to stay in shape or to lose weight while stimulating the entire motor system of the body.

Featured Athletes

Among the most outstanding athletes in athletics worldwide we can mention Carl Lewis, Paavo Nurmi, Carolina Kluft and Yelena Isinbéyeva.


Some of the trivia about athletics that you may not know include things like:

  • It is the oldest sport that has existed in the world.
  • It can be run barefoot.
  • The first marathon races had distances of 40 kilometers.
  • Children can participate in athletics.

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