Top historian’s free talk about Olympic legacy

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AN ACCLAIMED sports historian and author will give a talk about how the Olympic Games have inspired generations from all walks of life.

Dr Martin Polley, who lectures at the University of Southampton, will present ‘Olympia to the Olympic Games’ at the annual Ides of March lecture at Portsmouth Grammar School on March 16.

He said: ‘This year, London will become the first city in the world to host the Olympic Games for a third time, so it’s a great time to look back at the history of the Games.

‘When Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894, he was inspired by his reading of the ancient Olympic Games, and an idea of the legacy of Greece has run through Olympism ever since.

‘I will be exploring how Coubertin was not the first person to take inspiration from the ancient Olympic Games, and how plenty of other people – poets and politicians, entrepreneurs and philanthropists – called their events Olympic or Olympian.

‘These ranged from sports festivals to circus acts, from football teams to music halls. A continuing fascination with the legacy of the ancient Olympic Games motivated them all.

‘It’s an enthralling story that tells us a great deal about how people have interpreted the ancient Olympic Games for their own ends.’

There is free entry to the event, which starts at 7.30pm. To book a place email Debbi King at or call (023) 9236 4268.