There was this story on msnbc about how the "Ancient Olympics had its own scandals" some to do with cheating by way of bribery and magical potions (both performance enhancing and curses). The competition was intense, and this story says "Gymnasiums were restricted to keep the sex trade from overrunning events on the field." Apparently the Romans were the most corrupt, though the Greeks were not as pure as we would like to think. Athletes were punished for transgressions by flogging.
In other olympic news, dogmeat is not on the menu in Bejing, at least for a little while.
And I found this article about a man who transgendered to female and was allowed to compete in tennis as a woman....and more stories about gender fraud and athletic competition. It seems logical to me that a person who is genetically male might not be permitted to compete with woman because having masculine muscular development would be a big advantage. The women who DO compete in Olympic level events are the ones who probably had a lot more androgens in utero than their less agressive less athletic sisters. And they don't allow hormones as performance enhancing drugs....remember, Floyd Landis lost his Tour de France title because they found synthetic testosterone in his system. The question is further complicated by the fact that taking feminizing hormones is surely not going to make you a better shot putter. A few paragraphs from that article below:
When sex testing was first introduced in 1966, several Eastern Bloc shot-putters and discus-throwers suddenly disappeared from women's sport. These included the Soviet Union's Press sisters: Tamara, who held the shot-put record from 1959 to 1965, and her sister Irena, a hurdler and pentathlete. Their masculine appearances, combined with their disappearance, fueled speculation about both steroid use and gender fraud.
Another instance, widely cited as an example of masquerading, actually raises the poignant dilemma of the intersexed athlete. German high jumper Dora Ratjen competed in the 1936 Berlin Oympics but was barred from further competition in 1938, when she was examined and discovered to have ambiguous genitalia. After the war, Ratjen, by then living as Hermann, acknowledged that the Nazi Youth Movement had forced him to compete as a woman.
Even after the advent of chromosomal testing, some athletes accused of impersonating women were, like Ratjen, apparently either intersexed or victims of chromosome abnormalities. "There was a naïve assumption that everyone who was a female athlete but was genetically male, was an impostor," notes Joe Leigh Simpson.
Other critics cite the case of Spanish hurdler María Martínez Patino, who failed a gender test in 1985 and was banned from sports, though she was later reinstated. Before submitting to the chromosome test, Patino knew nothing of the birth defect that had left her with male chromosomes and without a uterus.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST
I was searching for "Romans homosexuality" and found out that as I suspected "bisexuality was the norm" and some respected Roman men had relations only with other men.
I also found some interesting stuff on the bible:
(not about the olympics)
but rather on the Biblical foundation
of the Christian abhorrence of Christianity:
(King James Version)
Romans 1:26-27: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [sic] of their error which was meet."
This passage the only place in the Bible that refers to same-gender sexual behavior by women. Bennett Sims, the former Episcopal bishop of Atlanta, believes that these verses have done more to form Christians' negative opinion of homosexuality than any other single passage in the Bible. He writes: "For most of us who seriously honor Scripture these verses still stand as the capital New Testament text that unequivocally prohibits homosexual behavior. More prohibitively, this text has been taken to mean that even a same-sex inclination is reprehensible, so that a type of humanity known as 'homosexual' has steadily become the object of contempt and discrimination."
AND A LITTLE MORE FROM THE BIBLE
"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts (ATIMIAS). Even their women exchanged natural (PHYSIKEN) relations for unnatural (PARA PHYSIN) ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural (PHYSIKEN) relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent (ASCHEMOSYNE) acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done."