Or at least that’s what Google and the Olympics’ official website would have you think.
Although this fact has slipped from the pediments of modern cultural conscience, women were participating in—and winning—the Olympic Games way back in the days of empires and chariots. What makes this especially remarkable is that women were not technically allowed to take part in the Games at all, and only unwed virgins could watch. Grown and married women who dared have a peek at what went on in the stadium did so under the mythical-sounding penalty of being hurled from the cliffs of Mount Typaeum. Understandably, this punishment was enough to dissuade many of the fairer sex.
But not all of them—and definitely not one Spartan woman named Cynisca.