The word athletics is derived from the Greek word "athlos”, meaning "contest" or "task." Initially, the term was used to describe athletic contests in general. Athletics were sporting competition based primarily on human physical feats. In the 19th century in Europe, the term athletics acquired a more narrow definition and came to describe sports involving competitive running, walking, jumping and throwing
Athletic is a collection of sports which involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. Most common types of athletics events are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking. The simplicity of the competitions, and the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most commonly competed sports in the world.
Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC, and most modern events are conducted by the member clubs of the International Association of Athletics Federations. Athletics are the backbone of the modern Summer Olympics, and other leading international meetings include the IAAF World Championships and World Indoor Championships, and athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the IPC Athletics World Championships.
Athletics events were depicted in the Ancient Egyptian tombs in Saqqara, with illustrations of running at the “Heb Sed” festival and high jumping appearing in tombs from as early as of 2250 BC. The original and only event at the first Olympics in 776 BC was a stadium-length running event known as the stadion. This later expanded to include throwing and jumping events within the ancient pentathlon. Athletics competitions also took place at other Pan-Hellenic Games, which were founded later around 500 BC.
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