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The Real Olympics DVD
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Item No.: ROLY601
Single DVD

No event in the ancient world compared to the Olympic Games. With Greek culture and influence at their height, the Games drew an audience of tens of thousands. At the heart of this documentary is an ambitious reconstruction of major events, from chariot racing to combat sports, involving stunt men, horse wranglers, 40 young athletes, and hundreds of extras. Experts from universities around the world acted as historical advisors.
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PBSThe Real Olympics DVD

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(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Where it all Began

By Diesel

from Brooklyn, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about PBS The Real Olympics DVD:

This documentary, produced in advance of the 2004 Athens Olympics, engagingly presents much factual information on the original Olympics, held in Greece for over a thousand years. Its focus on combat sports was particularly intriguing for me as a fan. Recreations of the ancient fighting and other events were masterfully done and made me feel as if I was watching a live competition. Unfortunately, it failed to make the obvious connection between pankration, the "all-powers" event contsted in the original Olympics, and modern mixed martial arts, which continues to be controversial in our society. Parts of the documentary were amateurishly produced, with the narrator repeating verbatim in one scene what he said in a previous one.
The film debunks the myth that the Greek Olympics were an amateur affair; victorious athletes in the ancient games were well compensated for their achievements, though not at the Olympic venue itself. And it reminds us that when the modern Olympics forbade professionals, winning times would not have made the qualifying standard today. If we want to see the best athletes compete at their best, they must be able to make a living from what they do best.

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