THE OLIVE TREE AS A WREATH OF GLORY

Crowning of the winners of the Olympic Games was made, as known, by olive branch.

The kotinos, a crown always cut from the same old olive tree called kallistefanos (good to crown) that grew to the right of the opisthodomos of the temple of Zeus, was given as a prize to the winners of the Olympic Games, starting from the first Games held in Olympia in 776 B.C. until the last ancient Olympic Games, promoting truce and peace between peoples.

The kotinos is the emblem, symbolism and continuation of the tradition, but also tribute to the olive tree, paid by the Olympic Games of 2004 A.D., held in Athens.

A "Panathenaic amphora" full of olive oil was given as a prize to the winners of sports competitions during the Panathenaea, which were also important sports events of ancient Athens: the prize was amphorae filled with oil as part of the grand celebration of the Panathenaea in honour of the goddess Athena. The amphora itself was a guarantee of the olive oil quality. This is the first example of an accredited product in world history.

Even in modern Greece, the olive and olive oil are associated with all phases of social and religious activities. The kotinos made of olive symbolized and still symbolizes for us Greeks the highest distinction of morality.

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