The Olympic Games start today in London and all eyes will be on our athletes. But did you know that during the original Olympics in Greece, poets were honored as well? They would sing of great athletic feats and, at times, engage in competition themselves. Though this tradition faded away, in 1912, it was reignited during the Stockholm Games with poets and musicians who contended for gold medals. Considering the quality (or lack thereof) of the verse, the practice was quickly abandoned.
NPR has taken up the challenge for today’s games. They will be sharing poetry written specifically for the Olympics over the next week. For more information on the history of poetry of the Olympics, go to http://www.npr.org/2012/07/27/157370975/the-poetry-of-sport-the-sport-of-poetry