Athletes are the persons involved in the sport of athletics. Athletics include track and field events such as running, throwing, walking and jumping, the most common events being long distance running, cross-country running, and race walking. Athletics are very popular due to the fact that that such competitive events are simple to be organized and do not require expensive equipment. Mostly athletic events are individual sports though there are exceptions like relay races and cross-country races. Athletics have their origins in the ancient Olympic Games that were first held in 776 BC in Greece. Athletes have to maintain a very strict and healthy lifestyle which includes paying significant attention to their diets and exercise routines. They have to undergo a stringent training and practice routine in their chosen sports in order to compete professionally. Being a professional athlete is physically taxing and mentally exhausting. Since athletes are in their top form for only a few years, they are able to actively participate in competitive sports only for a limited period of time. Also they face the risk of injuries that might limit or even end their career. Some athletes may become coaches and instructors after their retirement from active sports. Browse this section to know about the life and works of various famous athletes from all over the world.