Under the rule of emperor Augustus the Olympics underwent a revival. Before he came to full power, Augustus’ right-hand man Marcus Agrippa restored the damaged temple of Zeus and in 12 BC Augustus asked King Herod of Judea to subsidize the games. While no Roman ever entered an athletic event at Olympia, in the early years of Augustus reign some of his associates, including future emperor Tiberius, won equestrian events.
After Augustus was declared a god by the Senate after his death, a statue of his likeness was commissioned at Olympia. Subsequent divine emperors also had statues erected within the sacred Altis. The stadium was renovated at his command and Greek athletics in general were subsidized.