Continuing with our series on Boycotting the Olympics … Have you seen the male gymnasts? Some will be disappointed that they wear boxer shorts, but that is not what I wanted to talk about. Watching them (do very badly, by the way) I recalled that the argument has been made that this is probably the oldest Olympic sport. This assertion has been made because the earliest art in the region, predating the Greeks, includes dramatic depictions of the ancient art of Bull Jumping.
Here’s a picture from an ancient text with the title, roughly translated, “Bull Jumping for Dummies” …
This has led to speculation that the pummel horse, your typical floor routine, and possibly even the suspended rings ultimately derive from this ancient Minoan past time.
The continuity between Minoan and Greek hardly needs to be argued for. Bull jumping is still practiced today, though the bulls are smaller and the jumpers larger, of course.