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Ancient Hellenes regarded healthy competition as a virtue and even used a special term for it which is ΆΜΙΛΛΑ (AH meelah).
Άμιλλα was considered very important in ancient Greece. It was especially one of the core values of the spirit of the Ancient Olympic Games along with the «Νούς υγιήςεν σώματι υγιεί» (“A healthy mind in a healthy body”).
The key to that was balance, a harmony between mind and body. And the means of achieving it was through self discipline, training, and education in a diverse array of fields. The ideal athlete studied at length and trained hard, worked to achieve a moral character, played fairly, and performed his or her best.
The athletes had to arrive at the site a month before the games to go through preparation in which they underwent spiritual, moral, and physical training while the judges supervised them.
Only after that month of training did the judges decide if they were genuinely qualified to compete. The youth would be challenged to exercise Άμιλλα during the games, and athletes exhibiting negative attitudes would be disqualified and even disgraced.