Since these myths were documented by historians like Pausanias, who lived during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the 160 AD, it is likely that these stories are more fable than fact.
It was often supposed that the origins of many aspects of the Olympics date to funeral games of the Mycenean period and later.
They were held in honor of Zeus, and the Greeks gave them a mythological origin.
The first Olympics is traditionally dated to 776 BC.
The ancient Olympics had fewer events than the modern games, and only freeborn Greek men were allowed to participate, although there were victorious women chariot owners.
As long as they met the entrance criteria, athletes from any Greek city-state and kingdom were allowed to participate, although the Hellanodikai, the officials in charge, allowed king Alexander I of Macedon to participate in the games only after he had proven his Greek ancestry.
During the celebration of the games, an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their cities to the games in safety.
The prizes for the victors were olive leaf wreaths or crowns.
He crowned the victor with an olive tree wreath (which thus became a peace symbol), which also explains the four year interval, bringing the games around every fifth year (counting inclusively).
Another myth of the origin of the games is the story of Pelops, a local Olympian hero.
Pelops was a very handsome young man and the king's daughter fell in love with him.
Before the race, she persuaded her father's charioteer Myrtilus to replace the bronze axle pins of the king's chariot with wax ones.
It was from this funeral race held at Olympia that the beginnings of the Olympic Games were inspired.