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The ancient Olympics had fewer events than the modern games, and only freeborn Greek men were allowed to participate, although there were victorious women chariot owners.
As long as they met the entrance criteria, athletes from any Greek city-state and kingdom were allowed to participate, although the Hellanodikai, the officials in charge, allowed king Alexander I of Macedon to participate in the games only after he had proven his Greek ancestry.
Another myth of the origin of the games is the story of Pelops, a local Olympian hero.
Many of America's Olympians began as youth athletes, including stars such as Maurice Greene, Allyson Felix, Bryan Clay, John Godina, Deena Kastor, and Allen Johnson.