10 Weird Traditions From The Ancient Olympic Games

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9. Eating Sheep Testicles As A Performance-Enhancer

The Greeks viewed testicles as a performance-enhancing drug. From watching eunuchs and castrated animals, they’d figured out that there was some kind of connection between testicles and manliness. They didn’t quite understand the biology, but they knew there was a link, and they were pretty sure the best way to become manly was to eat as many testicles as possible.

Of course, there were alternatives. Some would get ready by eating a ground-up mix of donkey hooves and rose petals. Others would eat live bees.

A few took a dirtier route. They would try to place curses on their opponents, which the Greeks were pretty sure really worked. There are stories from the Olympics that tell of athletes veering off course or not making it to the starting block, mistakes the Greeks chalked up to magical hexes.

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