Since the first Olympic games originated 3,000 years ago, the human body has been trained, tried, and rebuilt to compete against the best in the world. Every four years, athletes have met to push their bodies to the limit, forcing an evolution of the musculature and skeletal system. How has the Olympic athlete’s body transformed into the elite physique of the worldly athletes we root for today?

The first modern Olympics took place in 1896, during which athletes competed in nine sports compared to the 28 events held at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro’s events. Men from at least 75 countries and women from at least 50 countries practice for a spot in the various competitions. Each sporting event portrays the body’s athletic build at peak physical condition, but each represents a wide range of body types, shapes, and sizes. 

Due to the increasing competitiveness and drive for the ever elusive world records and gold medals, athletes have worked to develop their body types to give them the greatest advantage.

Click through the slideshow to travel back over the century to see how the Olympic body has evolved.