The Temple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece, 2017.10.12
The Temple of Zeus, Olympia, Greece, 2017.10.12.
Nikon D7200, 12-24mm f/4G lens @12mm f/8, aperture priority.

"The historian Herodotus tells how the Persian king Xerxes, on hearing that Olympia awarded only wreath prizes, marveled that Greeks competed not for material reward but "only for honor." Then as now, however, Olympic victory brought more than its own rewards. Until the 1970s it was said that early Olympic athletes were idealistic, noble amateurs but that over time specialization, material rewards, and lower-class professionals corrupted athletics. Rejecting this scenario, revisionist scholars led by classicist David C. Young have concluded that the notion of amateurism in Greek sport is anachronistic, that the Greeks had neither the concept of nor a word for amateur athletics, and that ancient victors, whatever their background, accepted valuable prizes and benefits eagerly and with impunity. The prize wreath at Olympia was symbolic, but home cities rewarded Olympic victors substantially with cash bonuses, free meals, and more. In the sixth century Solon legislated rewards of 500 drachmas (more than $300,000) for Athenian Olympic victors. Athletes usually represented their native cities, but they could compete for another state. Astylos of Kroton, the first known free agent, won races at Olympia in 488 and 484 for Kroton, but then won races in 480 for Syracuse. States such as Athens, Kos, Macedon, and Syracuse realized that games were good publicity and good business, and they promoted their games and athletes through prizes, coins, and monuments. Beyond the "crown" games, there were many local games offering valuable material prizes and sometimes even appearance money for stars. Victory in the men's sprint at the Panathenaic Games brought a prize of 100 amphoras of olive oil (the equivalent of $67,000)."

— Donald G. Kyle, "Winning at Olympia", Archaeology, April 6, 2004