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Visual Histories

A Visual History of Sports

Feb 09, 2018 | 8 videos
Video by The Atlantic

To celebrate the 2018 Winter Olympics, here’s an animated tour of the history of sports.


The first recorded sport in history was spear throwing, which arose in 70,000 BC out of a need for ancient hunters to practice their skills. Bowling was the first known ball game, appearing in Egypt in 3,200 BC; later, there was Pitz, played by the ancient Maya in 2,500 BC, followed by Episkyros, known as “common ball” to Greeks living in 8th century BC.


Long before the Olympics, there were the Tailteann Games, which the ancient Irish held around 1,800 BC. At the first recorded Olympic Games in 760 BC, there was only one event: a footrace.


Author: Jackie Lay

About This Series

The animated visual histories behind things in everyday life.