Interesting and Fun Olympic Facts

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20 Fun, Interesting, Wacky, Strange and Amazing Olympic Facts 

In less than three months time we will be watching and cheering on the best athletes from around the world as they compete for Gold in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.  To get in the spirit of things here are 20 Olympic facts you may have never heard of.  Good luck to all of the athletes, all of us here at Team Empower Hour will be cheering loudly for you!!!!

20 - The Olympic Pricetag

The first modern Olympics was held in 1896 in Athens, Greece and cost roughly $448,00.  Compare that to the most recent Olympic Games in Rio 2016 which cost a whopping $13.1 BILLION!!!

19 - Olympic Tiebreak

During the 1936 Berlin Games, two Japanese pole-vaulters tied for second place. Instead of competing again, they cut the silver and bronze medals in half and fused the two different halves together so that each of them had a half-silver and half-bronze medal.

18 - Badminton anyone?

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

17 - The Olympic Flag

The five rings of the Olympic symbol represent the five inhabited continents of the world and the six colors (blue, yellow, black, green, red and the white background) were chosen because every nations flag contains at least one of them. 

16 - Continental Divide

Africa and Antarctica are the only continents in which the Olympics have never been held. 

15 - Olympic Sponsorships

The first sponsor the Olympics was Coca-Cola. They sponsored the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, and have supported every Olympic Games since. 

14 - Summer or Winter?

The Rio Olympics in 2016 were the first Summer Games to be held entirely during winter time.

13 - And The Winner Receives.....

At the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896 the winners were crowned with an olive wreath and received a silver medal.  It wasn’t until the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, where the first gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second, and third place.

12 - Men Only

Women have been allowed to compete in the Olympics since 1900. 

11 - Aged To Perfection

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, won his sixth Olympic medal and was crowned oldest Olympian at age 72 years and 280 days old.

10 - Making The Cut

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.

9 - Setting The Record

The record for the most appearances at the Olympic Games is held by Canadian show jumper Ian Millar who has competed in 10 Olympics.

8 - All For Good Luck

The Beijing Olympics, 2008, began at exactly 8:08:08 PM on 8/8/08 because the number 8 is considered lucky in China.

7 - A Three-peat 

London is the only city to host the summer Games three times: 1908, 1948 and 2012.

6 - Opening Ceremonies Goes Disney

In 1960, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Squaw Valley, California (United States). In order to bedazzle and impress the spectators, Walt Disney was head of the committee that organized the opening day ceremonies. The 1960 Winter Games Opening Ceremony was filled with high school choirs and bands, releasing of thousands of balloons, fireworks, ice statues, releasing of 2,000 white doves, and national flags dropped by parachute.

5 - Summer Only Please

Originally, the Olympics were only held in the summer. The first winter Olympics were held in 1924, in Chamonix, France.

4 - Running With No Shoes

In the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Ethiopian athlete, Abebe Bikila became the Olympic marathon champion. He accomplished this feat, barefoot, while setting a new world record!

3 - An Olympic No No

The first Olympic drug suspension wasn't until 1968. At the 1968 Mexico City games, Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a Swedish pentathlete, was suspended because he tested positive for a banned substance. That substance: Alcohol. He drank several beers before the pentathlon... which was against the rules... so he was suspended.

2 - Will They Ever Be Finished?

The Olympics once lasted 187 days. In 1908, the London Olympics went on for 187 days... they started in April and didn't end until October.

1 - Olympic Perfection

Nadia Comaneci was the first to score a perfect 10.0 in the uneven bars, but the scoreboards displayed it as a 1.0 instead.