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The sacred olive tree of Zeus, from which the victory wreaths were cut, marked the finishing line for all races.The first stadium, a simple affair using the natural embankments of the surrounding hills, remained within the deified area too.Zeus, King of the Greek Gods, was said to have taken up residence in Olympia around 1200BC when the Eleans conquered the surrounding area.
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The discovery of more than 150 wells dating to this time indicates that even this early in the life of the Olympic Games, they attracted considerable attention.
By the mid fourth century BC the third incarnation of the stadium was built.
Spacious and with the look and feel of a more modern venue, spectator attendance grew by around 50%.
The position of the stadium had been shifted, with events no longer finishing at the altar of Zeus.