This is the first article in a series of 2 about fun facts from the Olympics.
On the 21st August, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil came to an end. The Olympics are the largest, and perhaps most prestigious sporting events in the world, and this year has been no exception: 11,540 athletes from 207 nations have competed in 28 sports. In this article we will explore some of the fun facts that have made the Olympics so special since the first Ancient Olympic games in Ancient Greece.
- Overall, there are two eras of Olympic games: Ancient and Modern. The Ancient Olympic games were banned in 393 A.D., as the Olympians celebrated the Greek God Zeus which a new Emperor did not approve of. The Modern Games were then started in 1896.
- The Summer games have been running every fourth year ever since then, except for 1916, 1940, and 1944 when World Wars made it impossible to continue the games.
- While there are Summer Games every fourth year, they alternate with the Winter Olympic which are also held every fourth year, which means that you can see the Olympics every second year.
- The United States of America has the most overall medals with 2,189 Olympic medals!
- The logo of the Olympics (five interconnected rings) symbolize the five biggest regions in the world: Asia, Europe, Oceania, Africa, and the Americas. This year is the first time South America has hosted the event, and Africa has not hosted it (yet!). The rings are interconnected to symbolize the friendships that are meant to come from the games.
- We are lucky to be living at the same time as the athlete who has won the most Olympic medals: American Swimmer Michael Phelps has 28 medals from the Olympics, which is more than any other human who has ever lived! Simone Biles is also a new star; with her four Gold medals this year, she is thought to be one of the most promising athletes ever.
- The motto of the Olympic games is “Citius, Altius, Fortius” which is Latin and means: “Swifter, Higher, Stronger”
- The Gold medals are not made of Gold anymore. Until 1912 they were, but now they are made of Silver, which is cheaper, and then covered with a thin layer of gold.
- Although some may be sad to receive a Gold medal made of silver, they are probably happy not to get what winners won in the Ancient Olympics: an Olive Branch Wreath.
- It is a big honor to host the Olympic games – it brings thousands of people to the city where it is hosted, and is a chance to show off their abilities to host such a big event. This honor is not
- given to countries, however, but is given to individual cities.
- Between 1900 and 1920, Tug of War was an official team sport in the Olympics.
- The first Ancient Olympic games had only one discipline: a 200m run called a Stade.
Image 1: https://colorlib.com/wp/all-olympic-logos-1924-2016/
Image 2: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/rio-games-countdown-marked-by-olympia-torch-ceremony-1.2619036