50 Interesting Facts about Olympics

26George Eyser

An American gymnast with a wooden leg named George Eyser won 6 medals, including 3 gold, in a single day at the 1904 Olympics. He was the only Olympian to have competed with a prosthetic limb for the next 100 years, until 2008.

27. Amy Van Dyken, a 6-times Olympic gold medalist swimmer, has been an asthmatic her whole life, proving that children with asthma can grow to be Olympic-level athletes!

28. At the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, Hawaiian-American Duke Kahanamoku overslept and missed his qualifying heat in the 100m freestyle. His main rival, Cecil Healy of Australia, convinced judges to hold a special qualifying race for Duke. Duke ended up going on to win the gold, and Cecil took silver.

29. Finland and Sweden are the only countries in the world that have earned a medal at every Olympic game since 1908.

30. 7 of the first 8 Olympic Gold Medals in the hammer throw, were won by Irishmen born within a 30-mile radius of each other.

31Korea

Some Koreans are trying to rename their country back to "Corea". They believe that Japan changed the spelling to "Korea" so Japanese athletes would march first at the 1908 Olympics.

32. By analyzing the faces of Olympic medalists after their events, a peer-reviewed study found that silver medalists feel worse, on average than bronze medalists. Silver medalists feel unlucky, while bronze medalists feel lucky.

33. In 1968 Olympics, Kip "Kieno" was late for the 1500m final, because he was stuck in traffic. He ran 2 miles to make it to the event on time, and still won the gold. He was also suffering from gallstones.

34. Wladimir Klitschko auctioned off his 1996 Olympic gold medal in March 2012 for charity. The buyer paid $1 million but immediately returned it because he wanted it to stay in the family.

35. The host nation in the Olympics automatically qualifies for all events.

36Dave Wottle

Dave Wottle is an American runner who won gold in the 800m race of the 1972 Olympics. He went from dead last to first in the final 200 meters, wearing a golf cap.

37. 28 countries boycotted the 1976 Olympic Games because New Zealand was allowed to compete.

38. The 1976 Olympics were a financial disaster for Montreal, as the city faced debts for 30 years after the Games had finished. It was only in December 2006 that the olympic stadium's costs were finally paid in full.

39. The first Olympic flag went missing for 77 years after the 1920 games until a 1920 Olympian named Hal Haig Prieste revealed he’d had it in his suitcase the whole time.

40. The 1908 Olympics was hosted in London after being relocated from Rome after Mount Vesuvius erupted. It was also the longest Olympics lasting for 6 months and 4 days.

41Paralympics

The "para" in "Paralympics" officially means "parallel to" or alongside the Olympics.

42. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, North Korean and South Korean athletes came together to march as one under the unified banner of 'Korea' during the opening ceremony.

43. Larry Lemieux, a Canadian sailor at the 1988 Olympics, was about to win a silver medal when he abandoned the race to save two other competitors who had capsized. He was given the Pierre de Coubertin Medal for sportsmanship.

44. Kim Gwang Suk is a North Korean gymnast who competed at the Barcelona Olympics. Her age was given as 17, but she was missing her front teeth and may have been as young as 10. Aside from an Olympic torch relay, her subsequent life and whereabouts are unknown.

45. The Olympic games used to include gold medals in categories such as architecture, city planning, sculpturing, and statistics. The founder of modern Olympics himself, Pierre de Coubertin, won the gold medal in literature at the 1912 summer Olympics.

46Dick Fosbury

Dick Fosbury won the gold medal at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, setting a new record, and reinventing high-jumping overnight.

47. The last Olympic gold medals entirely made out of gold were awarded in 1912.

48. During the parade of nations at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Greece always enters the stadium first due to its status as the birthplace of the Olympics.

49. In 2008, Ronda Rousey became the first American woman to win a medal in Judo at the Olympics.

50. After the 1900 Olympics, croquet was discontinued because only 1 spectator watched the event.

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