The Athletes' is a pair of marble statues currently housed in the Archaeological Museum of Delphi. Estimated to have been created around the late 5th century B.C., this work is thought to be attributed to the sculptor, Polymedes of Argos. The subject matter is two male figures, presumably engaged in wrestling, a widespread motif in ancient Greek art signifying the celebration of physical strength and human aesthetics.

The statues have a height of approximately 1.8 meters. Both figures are depicted nude, consistent with common practices when representing male athletes in the period; nudity symbolized purity, courage, and strength.

The level of detail in these statues is remarkable, indicating the sculptor's skill in rendering accurate anatomical and emotive features. Muscular definition and veins of the figures are visible, further accentuating their physical engagement. Facial expressions convey focus and determination, adding to the dynamic nature of the scene.

Despite the loss of some limbs, the statues retain an effective sense of interaction. The physical orientation of the figures—facing each other, bodies intertwined—creates a visual representation of balance and tension, fundamental aspects of wrestling, a prominent sport in the ancient Greek games.

Historical records suggest that 'The Athletes' were likely commissioned by a victor of the Pythian Games, a religious festival held every four years in Delphi. This contextual information enriches the historical milieu of the artifact, providing insights into ancient Greek athletic and religious conventions.

Significantly, both statues were discovered in the same sanctuary, implying they were intended as a matched set. This form of dual representation, which could be seen as symbolic of camaraderie and the collective struggle of athletic competition, provides valuable information about social practices and values in ancient Greece, thereby underlining the statues' significance to art history.

Archaeological Museum of Delphi
Delphi, Sacred Way