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Since the time that there have been athletic contests in Western culture, where the participants compete for victory not only out of personal ambition but also for the fame of their family, their home town or their nation, the victories in these contests must be celebrated through some medium or other. The news of the victory must be spread in order for the fame to come into being at all, for the prestige of a victory in a significant contest, since archaic times at least, can be important too as political propagandal.
The medium for celebrating these victories is today the sports report on television, on radio, or in the news. In ancient Greece the athlete’s fame was first promulgated orally, beginning with the announcement of victory through the games’ official herold2, but it was also possible to celebrate the victor in inscriptions or through commissioned poetry 3: in the late sixth century and in the fifth the poets of choral lyric4 composed on commission either short victory lyrics, which were performed on the site of the contest immediately after the victory, or longer odes intended for performance later at a victory celebration (in the nativecity of the victor)…
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