Atlanta, 1 August 1996, Games of the XXVI Olympiad. American Michael JOHNSON and Namibian Frankie FREDERICKS in action during the 200m final. Credit: Getty Images/PRIOR Gary M.
Athletics is, in many ways, the embodiment of the Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, meaning faster, higher, stronger.
Athletics (or track and field) is about running faster, jumping higher and throwing further than your competitors. The ancient Games at Olympia began simply with foot races, only occasionally complicated by dressing the runners in infantry armour or making them carry soldiers’ shields. Today, athletics remains one of the most popular Olympic sports. From the 100m dash to the 42.195km marathon, from the hammer throw to the high jump, it contains many of the Olympic Games’ blue-ribbon events and many of the highest-profile competitors.