Athletic contests in running, walking, jumping and throwing are among the oldest of all sports and their roots are prehistoric. Athletics events were depicted in the Ancient Egyptian tombs in Saqqara, with illustrations of running at the Heb Sed festival and high jumping appearing in tombs from as early as 2250 BC. The original and only event at the first Olympics in 776 BC was the stadion, a stadium-length running event.
The turn of the century was a time of renewed interest in the sport, with the foundation of the Amateur Athletics Association in 1880, the first modern Summer Olympics in 1896 and the International Amateur Athletics Federation in 1912. In this classic guide, Montague Shearman traces the evolution of athletics and shares his expertise in training and discipline.