Activities Sports & Athletics A History of the Discus Throw in Track and Field Share PINTEREST Email Print Sports & Athletics Track & Field Records Events Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Mike Rosenbaum Mike Rosenbaum is an award-winning sports writer covering various sports and events for more than 15 years. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Mike Rosenbaum Updated May 13, 2018 01 of 08 The early days of discus throwing China Photos/Getty Images Discus throwing dates back to the ancient Greek Olympic Games, as depicted in this Fifth Century B.C. statue from the British Museum, "Discobolus," by the sculptor Myron. The 8th century B.C. poet Homer also referred to discus throwing, which was a part of the Greeks' pentathlon event. The early discs were made of unwrought bronze and iron and were apparently heavier than today's competitive discus. 02 of 08 Modern Olympic Discus Getty Images Fittingly, the first modern Olympics in 1896 included the discus throw event, which was won by American Robert Garrett. 03 of 08 Women join Olympics Getty Images When women entered Olympic track and field competition in 1928, discus was their lone throwing event. American Lillian Copeland, shown above in an illustration depicting her gold medal-winning performance, earned a silver medal in 1928 before striking gold in 1932. 04 of 08 Four-time champ STAFF/AFP/Getty Images American Al Oerter dominated Olympic discus from 1956-68, winning four consecutive gold medals while setting new Olympic records each time. He's pictured above at the 1956 Games. 05 of 08 World records Gray Mortimore/Allsport/Getty Images East Germany's Jurgen Schult set a discus-throw world record of 74.08 meters (243 feet) on June 6, 1986. As of 2015, the mark still stands. Another East German, Gabriele Reinsch, set a women's world record in the discus with a throw measuring 76.80 meters (251 feet, 11 inches) on July 9, 1988. 06 of 08 Modern discus throwing Virgilijus Alekna, on his way to victory in the 2005 World Championships. Andy Lyons/Getty Images Eastern Europeans have dominated both men's and women's discus in 21st-century Olympic competitions. Lithuania's Virgilijus Alekna, shown here competing in the 2005 World Championships, won Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2004. 07 of 08 London men's champ Robert Harting gained the discus throw gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images Germany's Robert Harting gained the 2012 Olympic men's discus gold medal with a toss measuring 68.27 meters (223 feet, 11 inches). 08 of 08 Perk-ing up in London Sandra Perkovic displays her gold-medal form at the 2012 London Olympics. Stu Forster/Getty Images Sandra Perkovic of Croatia was the 2012 Olympic women's discus champion. Her longest throw traveled 69.11 meters (226 feet, 8 inches).