What did it take to be a chariot racer?  

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mrkirschner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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There were a number of qualities that a successful charioteer needed to possess. The most important quality would be athleticism. The chariot race was a violent event that required great skill and strategy. The racer needed to have the strength to stay on the chariot the entire time and be able to maneuver the horses. This also required great balance and core strength. If the chariot were to be destroyed at any point in the race, the athlete would need to have the peace of mind to use his knife and cut the reigns. If he were not strong enough to do this, he would be pulled to death along the dirt track. For this reason, the charioteer needed to have a great deal of courage.

Because the sport of chariot racing was so popular, the charioteer needed to have some degree of personality and showmanship. Some of the best racers could become quite wealthy. Considering that most of the charioteers were slaves, this was a remarkable change in status for these athletes.

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