The starting point of the modern Games is marked by the lighting of the ceremonial flame, brought to the host country from Olympia by a relay of runners. Little is known about the sequence of events in the ancient Games, but a fire ceremony took place at some point in the five day cycle. It took the form of a solemn procession of purple robed hellanodikai entering the stadium to the sound of trumpets, with athletes following behind. The flame was lit on a sacrificial altar.
On the second day of the Olympics, spectators rose with the dawn to grab the best seats for the first events, congregation in groups according to their city of origin.
The main competitions were chariot races, horse races, wrestling boxing, the pankration, foot races, and the pentathlon. In all events except chariot racing, the athletes performed naked- the Greeks revered the human form. There were no team sports. Each athlete appeared as an individual, though victory was a glory shared by his whole city.