«... La vérité emphatique du geste dans les grandes circonstances de la vie.»


Mythical accounts of sports may be classified by their formal narrative contexts and rich variety of themes. Ultimately, their common significance lies in the theme of contest itself. In ancient Greek myth, sports episodes are found in essentially three different contexts, which have counterparts in many myths in other cultures. First, in the challenge contest, a divinity or hero is challenged by one of equal or lower status to a contest in a specific athletic discipline. Second in the festival contest, games are held to honor a god, a deceased hero, or a guest, or take place to mark a military victory. Finally, the bride contest is held, often by a father who is also the king, who gives to the victorious suitor both his daughter in marriage and succession to the throne. Aspects of the three forms can of course be combined in a single episode. All three settings establish oppositions between individual gods or mortals, and in most cases the result is the conferral on the victor of an enhanced rank or honor. In the few cases in which the contest is a draw, both contestants are generally established as having equal honor. In its simplest form,the mythical sporting event pairs forces of "goodness," civilization, productivity, or order against those of "evil," barbarism, destruction, or chaos. In more complex forms, the antagonists each have positive and negative attributes, though usually the narrative is biased, on balance, to favor the more positive contestant. The presence of audience or referees guides the reader (or listener) in his or her sympathies toward the contestants.


Illustrations: Pepitagraphics, Jacqueline García
Text: hubpages.com/topics/
Special thanks to Roli Bricchi