25 Things You Didn’t Know About The Olympics

Posted by , Updated on November 25, 2022

With the 2012 Summer Olympics in full swing the whole world is watching as new records are broken and new champions are made. Before you tune into the London Games, however, take a moment to reflect on the long history of Olympic competition. From its brutal beginnings all the way to its modern day fanfare, these are 25 things you didn’t know about the Olympics.


A bloody past

Ancient Olympics

The Ancient Olympics were much bloodier and deadlier than today with some boxers even wearing gloves spiked with sharp nails.


The first modern Olympics

1896 Olympic Games

The first modern Olympics was held in 1896 in Athens, Greece and cost roughly $448,000.


The price tag today

2012 London Olympic stadium cost same amount as sending someone to the moon 11 times

The 2012 olympic stadium cost £537 million or $832 million…enough to send one person to the moon 11 times.


Goose feathers galore

Badminton shuttlecock

It takes 16 goose feathers to make each badminton shuttlecock, with the best feathers apparently coming from the goose’s left wing.


Diving domination

Americans have won over half the Olympic diving medals

Since the birth of modern olympics roughly 100 years ago Americans have won over half the total amount of olympic diving medals.


Gold medal vs pie

The most expensive pie in the world from Fence Gate Inn in Lancashire, England

Although an Olympic gold medal seems valuable its really only worth about 450 English pounds (700 dollars), which is supposedly only half the price of the most expensive pie ever made. In case you’re wondering you can find this record breaking pie at Fence Gate Inn in Lancashire, England.


Football flopping

Olympic football injuries

Although it comes with its share of sprained ankles and broken shins, for every Olympic football match there are an average of 11 fake injuries.


London breaks a record

London is the only city on Earth to host the Olympics three times

London is the first city ever chosen to host the modern Olympics three times.


Girls in the ring

012 includes female fighters for first time

The 2012 Olympics will include females fighters in the boxing ring for the first time ever


Olympically deprived

Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2012

Africa, South America, and Antarctica are the only continents where the Olympics have never been held although that will change in 2016 when Rio de Janeiro hosts the summer Olympics


Silver was number one

Silver Olympic Medals

At the first Olympics in 1896 the winners were crowned with silver. It was only later that the gold medals was introduced.


Going the extra mile

The British Royal Family

Originally 25.85 miles long, the marathon was extended to 26 miles and 385 yards at the 1908 Olympics in London where the race began at Windsor Catle and ended in front of the Royal Box in the stadium. Legend has it that the race was extended so that the Royal Family could watch both the start and the finish.


Sprinting past the speedlimit

Olympic sprinters reach speeds of 30 mph

Olympic sprinters can reach speeds of up to 30 mph…that’s breaking the speed limit in some neighborhoods!


The oldest olympian

Oscar Swahn was oldest Olympian ever

The oldest Olympian ever was Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn who won gold when he was 60 years old in the 1908 olympics. In the 1920 olympic games in Antwerp he participated again and was crowned oldest Olympian at age 72.


Logo madness

Panda Bear

The logo for the 2012 London Olympics cost 400,000 english pounds, which is apparently the same price it would cost to adopt a panda in China for 365 years.


Kicking things off with a bang

Olympic opening ceremony

The 1896, 1900, and 1904 Olympic Games all failed to catch fire, but in 1906 when the interim games were held the world all of a sudden paid attention. This was the first modern Olympics to include all of the theatrical aspects.


Barriers to entry

Requirements for an sport to be in the Olympics

In order for a sport to be included in the Olympics it must be practiced by men in 75 countries on at least 4 continents and by women in 40 countries on at least 3 continents.


Heavy medal

Heavy Medal

The gold medals in the 2012 Olympics will be the biggest and heaviest medals ever although they are mostly made of silver (only about 1.5% of gold)


Crackdown on streaking

Olympic streaker

Anyone caught streaking at the 2012 olympics will be fined 20,000 pounds.


Lots of competition

Olympic parade

The 2012 Olympics will have 10,500 athletes competing.


Hitler’s torch

Hitler's regime reinstate the ancient Olympic torch during the 1936 Olympics

The modern Olympic torch has its beginnings in the the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Hitler and his regime reintroduced the ancient concept supposedly for the publicity and propaganda.


Fire and water

The Olympic torch passing the Great Barrier Reef

The Olympic torch is designed for rugged terrain and was even taken underwater passed the Great Barrier Reef during the 2000 olympics in Australia


A long journey

The United States

The 2012 Olympic torch traveled 8000 miles around the UK which is more than twice the width of the United States.


Olympic lasers


The most extreme measures ever taken to transport the torch ocurred during the 1976 olympics. It was literally beamed across the ocean by radio signal from Athens after which the signal triggered a laser that lit the torch.


As the whole world watches

The 2012 Olympic are expected to have over 4 billion people watching

For the 2012 Olympics over 4 billion people are expected to watch the opening ceremony. That’s well over half of the world’s population.

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