In the middle of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia was a ruined building. The Greeks believed that this was the megaron of King Oinomaos, who was a very ancient king of the dark ages. A megaron was a Greek king's court in prehistoric times. Literally: mega (great) ron (hall).
Beside the megaron was a large burial mound, enclosed within a wall of five sides. This was believed by everyone to be the burial mound of the hero Pelops. The hero-king for whom the Peloponnesian Peninsula is named.
According to legend, King Oinomaos had a daughter, a girl of great beauty, by the name of Hippodamia. Oinomaos had no sons, so whoever married Hippodamia would inherit the rule of the land. (The usual set up).
Needless to say, a great many unsuitable men asked for the hand of the beautiful Hippodamia, so many that it became an irritant. Oinomaos developed a way of discouraging suitors. He challenged them to a chariot race. If Oinomaos won, then he killed the foolish suitor with his bright spear. But if the suitor won, then the suitor would marry the girl and become heir to the kingdom. Many men died in the pursuit of beauty and wealth.
Note that the name of the princess Hippodamia means Horse Tamer.
Then the hero Pelops asked for the hand of Hippodamia.
Luckily for Pelops, Hippodamia fell in love with him. (The usual setup again.) The only problem was, daddy was the best chariot driver around, so Hippodamia bribed her father's charioteer, a man by the name of Myrtilus, to remove the linchpins from the wheels of her father's racing chariot. His reward if he did so would be half the kingdom, and the first night in the bed of Hippodamia.
And so the race was arranged. Pelops surged to the lead. But the chariot of Oinomaos made ground.
Oinomaos raised his spear to slay Pelops as they raced, when at that moment the wheels of his chariot flew off. Oinomaos was dragged to his death.
Pelops married Hippodamia, became King at once, and they all lived happily ever after. Except for Hippodamia's father, who was somewhat dead.
Myrtilus reaped the usual harvest for treachery: Pelops murdered the fellow when he was brazen enough to claim his reward.
This was considered the first Olympic chariot race, though it certainly wasn't at the Olympics, and it was won by cheating and sabotage. The race between the hero and the king was displayed on the outer pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.
Myrtilus was buried under the taraxippus at the east end of the chariot race arena. It's the reason the Greeks believed there were so many accidents at that turn. The psyche of Myrtilus, who was both murderer and murdered, remained to terrify the horses.