Friday, June 8, 2012

25 things you didn’t know about the Olympics

1. The rings of the Olympic flag symbolize the five significant continents - Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. 

2. The colours of the rings were chosen because at least one of them appeared on the flag of every country in the world when it was designed in 1914. 


3. The last gold medals that were made entirely out of real gold were awarded in 1912. 

4. The revenue from tourists visiting London for the 2012 games is expected to be £2.1billion. 

5. There have been just three cancelled modern Olympic Games, one in 1916 due to WWI, and two in 1940 and 1945 due to WWII.

6. London is the first city to host the games three times. Have previously been held in the city in 1908 and 1948. 

7. The Olympic motto is ‘swifter, higher, stronger’ or ‘citius, altius, fortis’. 

8. 205 nations will be participating in Olympic events this summer. 

9. The first ever Olympic games only had one event, a race on foot. 

10. More than 200 buildings were demolished at the 2.5 sq km Olympic Park in Stratford. 

11. Women were allowed to compete for the first time at the second ever modern Olympics in 1900. 

12. During the ancient games women were not even permitted to watch the games, only female priestesses. 

13. The paralympics originated from the Stoke Mandeville games, held to rehabilitate injured soldiers after WWII. 

14. During the summer events a 45% increase in Jubilee line passengers is expected. 

15. Walt Disney coordinated the opening ceremony of the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, it included school choirs and bands and the releasing of thousands of white doves. 

16. Gymnasium comes from the Greek root “gymnos” meaning nude, the literal meaning of “gymnasium” is “school for naked exercise” - athletes in the ancient Olympic Games were participate in the nude. 


17. The security team at this years Olympics will include 13,500 members of the armed forces. 

18. There have been free condoms in the Olympic village since the ‘92 Barcelona Games.

19. This year will see the first Team GB football team since 1974.

20. The BBC aims to broadcast all 5,000 hours of the Olympics.

21. The United States has won more medals than any other country in the summer games, currently standing at 2,189 medals. 

22. The first games were held in 776BCE, the events were originally a religious festival celebrating the Greek God Zeus. They were banned in 393AD when they were labelled a pagan festival. 

23. Equestrian events are the only Olympic sport when men and women compete on equal terms.  

24. The iconic Olympic flame returned as a feature of the modern Olympic games at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

25. Londoners will contribute £625 million to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.