In the lead up to the London Olympics of 2012 there was much talk of the Olympic legacy. Part of this was that people would be inspired by watching the athletes to start taking exercise themselves and we would become a fitter nation. Of course that hasn’t happened but it is interesting to note that St Basil had the same idea.
Τὸν ἀθλητῶν θεατὴν μετέχειν τινὸς προσῆκε καὶ αὐτὸν εὐτονίας. Καὶ τοῦτο ἐκ τῶν πανηγυρικῶν θεσμῶν ἄν τις κατίδοι, οἳ τοὺς συγκαθεζομένους εἰς τὸ στάδιον γυμνῇ καθῆσθαι τῇ κεφαλῇ διαγορεύουσιν· ἐμοὶ δοκεῖν, ἵνα μὴ θεατὴς μόνον ἀγωνιστῶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀγωνιστὴς ἕκαστος αὐτὸς ἐν τῷ μέρει τυγχάνῃ.
The spectator of athletic events should himself also take part in exercise. You could see this from the laws of the games which tells those who sit together in the stadium to sit with bare heads. I believe this is so that each of them is not only a spectator of the contestants but is a partly a contestant himself.
St Basil – on the creation of stars.
Taken from Spacezilotes