The Olympics are on and it’s all about: breaking records, winning medals and surprising outcomes. But most important, the games are about enjoying the Olympic spirit. Although London 2012 has enough exciting stories to offer, Yesilist gives you some other, unknown facts. Especially these numbers and figures make the Olympics into what they are: an inspiring and exciting event to everybody in the whole world.
100 meter sprint
- This Olympics, Usain Bolt again is the king of the sprint. He ran the 100 meters in 9.69 sec, a new world record. The first time somebody broke the 10 seconds mark was in 1968.
- No white person ever got under the 10 seconds barrier. The fastest white male ever was Marian Woronin from Poland. 40 years ago, Woronin ran the 100 meters in 10 seconds flat.
- During the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, the top prize was a silver medal and a olive branch. The runner up got a bronze medal. For the third place there was no price. A few years later during the Olympics in France in 1900, athletes were given a painting instead of a medal. Paintings were more valuable then useless medals they thought. Four years later, during the thirds modern Olympics, the medals were introduced, as we know them now: gold, silver and bronze.
- Michel Phelps is the most decorated athlete ever. He won 19 medals in his swimming career.
- During the Olympics in 1912 in Stockholm, it was the last time solid golden medals were handed out.
- In 2012, a medal is worth 1250 dollar. But as a collectors item, all the medals are worth 5500 dollar.
- Roughly 3,600g of gold worth more than $193,250 will be used to plate the medals that will be awarded at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
- In the 60’s the first Olympic drug suspension was a fact. Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall from Sweden was suspended in 1968 from the games held in Mexico-City. The drug that was found in his blood? Alcohol. Before he participates on the pentathlon he had drunk some beers which is against the rules.
- The youngest person ever participating at the Olympics was a Greek gymnast, Dimitrios Loundras in 1896 (The first modern Olympics). He was 10 years old.
- The oldest participater was Oscar Swahn, a shooter from Sweden. He was 72 during the Olympics in 1920 in Antwerp. The difference between the gymnast and the shooter is 62 years.
- During the ancient times, the Olympics were held as a religious festival for the Greek and Roman gods. From 776 B.C until 393 A.C. the Greek and Romans held annual games with male participants. The athletes where nude and married females were not allowed to watch the games. Unmarried females were.
- In 393 A.C. the Olympics were banned because of their pagan origin. In 1894 Baron Pierre de Coubertin started the Olympics as we know them nowadays. He changed the ancient tradition into the world popular summer games. But still, during the first modern Olympics, women were not allowed to participate. The second Olympics, in 1900 in Paris, this changed.
- The walk with the Olympic torch from Olympia in Greece to the host-city is not a ancient tradition. A guy named Carl Diem introduced this torch-trip in Berlin in 1936.
- The name of the Olympics is the name of the host city, not the host country. This is in tradition with the Ancient Greek city-states.
- The five colored rings represent the continents in the world: Africa, The Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Every country has at least one of the five colors in their national flag. The colors are: blue, yellow, green, black and red.
- During the first Olympic summer games in 1896 there were nine branches of sports: athletes, fencing, cycling, shooting, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling and tennis. Tennis was abandoned in 1928, but made a comeback in 1988. Today, all the nine sports are still part of the games.
- After 1896, the Olympic games only were cancelled three times. During the First and the Second World War (1916,1940,1944).
- In 1936 the Olympics were broadcast for the first time but it wasn’t until 1960 when America broadcast the games for the first time.
- The first champion of the Olympics was James Brendan Connolly in 1986. He was an Irish-American. He dropped out of the University of Harvard when the school refused to give him an leave of absence to participate on the games in Athens. After 52 years, Harvard tried to make up with him by offering an honorary doctorate. Connolly refused this offer.
- In 1960 Abebe Bikila ran the marathon during the Olympics in Rome bare feet. He won with a time of 2h 15min and 16.2 sec. Abebe was the first African ever to win a golden medal at the Olympics.
- Hilda Lorna Johnstone" of Great Britain is the oldest women to have ever participated in Olympics till today. She was 70 years old when she participated in 1972 games. She was an Equestrian.
- Gandhi once covered the Olympics as a newspaper reporter. The 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.
- At the age of 4 "Wilma Rudolph" had the disease of polio. Due to her determination and her mothers perseverance Wilma was able to fight out of polio. She first qualified for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics where she won her first bronze medal in the 400 meters relay. Then in 1960 Rome Olympics she set a world record in 200 meters race and won the gold for the same. In the same games she also won the gold medal for 100 meters race.
- Michael Phepls broke all the medal records during the last Olympics in London. He now has a total of 19 medals. 15 of them are gold, 2 bronze and 2 silver.
- The host of the Olympics in 2016 will be Brazil. After that, Africa and Antarctica will be the continents never hosted the Olympics.