The Games were held in honour of Zeus, but many other gods and goddesses were also worshipped at Olympia. According to legend, the Great Altar of Zeus was built on a spot struck by a lightning bolt hurled by Zeus. Priests burned offerings on the altar and pronounced an oracle, which athletes would consult to see what their chances in the Games were. Charioteers and jockeys offered prayers and sacrifices to Poseidon, patron of horses, before competing. Apollo was the god of prophecy, archery, music and boxing. According to myth, he defeated Ares, god of war, in the first ever boxing contest at Olympia. A statue of Nike, the winged goddess of victory, stood on a column before the Temple of Zeus. It showed her swooping down from heaven.