The Naked Olympics

A sample of the thirty line drawings from The Naked Olympics

All illustrations copyright Lesley Thelander, contact

Every fourth summer, the sanctuary of Olympia — a quiet collection of temples and altars in southern Greece — would be transformed by the Olympic Games, as some 70,000 spectators, athletes, merchants and hangers-on descended on the site. The five-day event was a logistical nightmare — as chaotic as a badly-planned rock festival today. Spectators slept in canvas tents or in the open air, without any regular water supply or sanitation; in the blistering summer heat, many died from dehydration, sunstroke and fever.