As mentioned earlier, the ancient Greeks placed emphasis on the male body and its ability to win Olympic medals and be victorious in war. Issues of physical fitness and muscular display were of paramount importance. Myronís Discus Thrower, c. 450 BC, evidences the sculptorís direct observation of a track and field athlete in training.


The man is depicted at the split second when he is about to begin the release and throw of the discus. The figureís sense of movement is represented in the uneven footing, body pose which cannot be held for more than a second, stretching of ribcage on his left side and contraction of ribcage and muscles on his right, the tension of the muscles in the hand holding the discus and left arm used for balance. Every hill and valley is appropriately tensed or relaxed, contracted or expanded. These bodily elements accurately reflect the narrative intended. Though the pose is transitory (the position could not be held for any length of time), it nonetheless constitutes a balanced composition. The arc created from the discus through to the arm, shoulder, other arm, hand, back calf and foot is balanced by a shorter and thicker arc created from the head down to the neck, torso and into the hip.
The right arm and chest curve in sympathy with the figureís left leg; the tension in his weight bearing right leg is balanced by the left side of the chest.