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 Olympics Trivia

Olympics Trivia

Will and Guy present their collection of funny Olympics trivia.

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Will and Guy's Interesting Facts and Funny Olympic Trivia

  • Olympic TriviaLive Pigeon Shooting took place in the 1900 Paris Games. Over 300 pigeons were slaughtered in an orgy of blood and feathers. Though it's in dispute as to whether the event was sanctioned by the Olympic council, there's no disputing that Parisian sidewalks were cleaner for a brief period at the turn of the century.  It was the only time animals were killed on purpose during an Olympic event.
  • The Beijing Olympics, 2008, began at exactly 8:08:08 PM on 8/8/08 because the number 8 is considered lucky in China.
  • The Berlin 1936 Olympiad was the first games to be televised.
  • There is a study of the 2004 Athens Olympics which shows that athletes who wore red while competing in "combat sports", such as wrestling, scored higher than opponents wearing blue. Very interesting but no scientific evidence can be produced say Will and Guy.
  • It wasn't until 1900 that women were allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.
  • In 1928 Australian rower, Henry Pearce, stopped halfway through his quarter-final race to let a family of ducks pass in front of his boat.  The French competition overtook him, but Pearce managed to get back in front and win the gold.

Trivia Question:
What do Olympiads VI, XII and XIII have in common?

Answer:
They were each cancelled due to War.  Note their numbers were not rescheduled, and this is why there will have been only 27 celebrations  by Olympiad XXX.  See full Olympiad history here.

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Do You Know? -  Amusing and Amazing Olympic Trivia

  • Pierre de Coubertin, the late founder of the International Olympic Committee [IOC], decided to send his heart to the site of ancient Olympia in Greece, where it is kept in a monument. The rest of him is buried in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • No boxing was held at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics because the sport was illegal in Sweden.
  • George Patton, who would later become a famous U.S. general, competed in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics pentathlon, an event combining pistol shooting, swimming, fencing, cross country and steeplechase. Patton performed poorly in his best event, pistols, but shined in fencing, defeating the French army champion. 'Old Blood and Guts' finished fifth overall, the only non-Swede to make the top seven.Olympic Trivia
  • During the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, Olga Korbut, the gymnast from the USSR was the media darling. She was 17 years old and only stood 4ft 11in tall. [1.49 metres].
  • Tug-o-war made its last appearance as an Olympic sport in 1920.
  • French athletes bent the rules at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics: despite 'Prohibition', they were allowed wine with their meals.
  • The greatest star of the 1936 Berlin Olympics was the 10th child born to an Alabama sharecropper family named Owens. He was not born with the name Jesse, he was called James Cleveland Owens, and as a child moved to his namesake city: Cleveland. A teacher asked his name, and he said "J.C." The teacher thought he said "Jesse," and the boy was too polite to disagree.
  • Another great Olympian, with Chicago ties, was Johnny Weissmuller, the winner of five gold medals in swimming who later starred as Tarzan in the movies. Weissmuller swam brilliantly in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics and also in the waters off Chicago's North Avenue Beach on a stormy day in July 1927. Weissmuller was training on the lakefront with his brother Peter when a sudden storm swamped the pleasure boat Favorite. The disaster killed 27 of the 71 people aboard, mostly women and children, but the Weissmuller brothers rescued 11 people.  He can really be considered a hero.
  • Ethiopian marathoner, Abebe Bikila, was the first man to successfully defend the marathon title [1960 and 1964].  An interesting observation was that he only wore shoes for the second victory.
  • Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored perfect 10's seven times at the 1976 Montreal games.
  • Discus thrower, Al Oerter, of the USA is the only athlete to win his event in four consecutive Olympic Games. He won gold medals and set new discus records in the 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968 games. Only nine other athletes have even won their events twice in succession in track and field competition.
  • Poland's Stella Walsh, [Stanislawa Walasiewicz] won the women's 100m race at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, becoming the first woman to break the 12 second barrier. When she was killed in 1980, as an innocent victim in a robbery attempt, an autopsy declared her to be a male.
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What Happened to the Antwerp 1920 Olympic Flag?

For over 50 years there was an unsolved mystery concerning the whereabouts of the original Olympic flag presented to the IOC by the city of Antwerp, Belgium, following the closing ceremony of the 1920 Olympics.  Then in 1977 at an Olympic Committee banquet a reporter asked Haig "Hal" Prieste, a bronze medalist at the 1920 Olympics in platform diving, about the stolen Olympic flag.  Prieste stunned the reporter with the reply, "I can help you with that, it's in my suitcase."

Perhaps if they had called-in that famous Belgian detective Hercules Poirot, he would have deduced that American swimmer Duke Kahanamoku was behind the jape to climb the flagpole and take the flag.  At a special ceremony at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia Prieste, then 103, returned the Olympic flag.  You can now see it at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland; there is a plaque thanking Prieste for returning it.

Olympic Marathon Trivia

  • The reason the extra yards were added to the running distance of the marathon to make the total length a rather strange figure of 26 miles and 385 yards was because of the rather whimsical demand of Queen Alexandra of Great Britain, who demanded, in 1908, that the marathon should end below the royal box at London's White City Stadium, which added the extra 385 yards.
  • The First Marathon: In 490 BCE, Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, ran from Marathon to Athens [about 25 miles] to inform the Athenians the outcome of the battle with invading Persians. The distance was filled with hills and other obstacles; thus Pheidippides arrived in Athens exhausted and with bleeding feet. After telling the townspeople of the Greeks' success in the battle, Pheidippides fell to the ground dead. In 1896, at the first modern Olympic Games, held a race of approximately the same length in commemoration of Pheidippides.
  • See more on Modern Olympic Marathons

Our Top Ten Quotes about the Olympic Games

  1. The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.
    - Pierre de Coubertin (primarily responsible for the revival of the Olympic Games in 1894)
  2. All I've done is run fast. I don't see why people should make much fuss about that. Fanny Blankers-Koen (Dutch sprinter who won four gold medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics)
  3. One shouldn't be afraid to lose; this is sport. One day you win; another day you lose. Of course, everyone wants to be the best. This is normal. This is what sport is about. This is why I love it. - Oksana Baiul, 1994 Olympic Gold Medalist [from the Ukraine]
  4. The Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself. - Dawn Fraser (Australian swimmer, 3-time winner at the Olympics)
  5. An Olympic medal is the greatest achievement and honor that can be received by an athlete. I would swap any World Title to have won gold at the Olympics.
    - Jeff Fenech (Australian boxer, 1984 Olympics)
  6. I Didn't Set Out to Beat the World; I Just Set Out to Do My Absolute Best. - Al Oerter. 4 times Olympic discuss champion [USA]
  7. If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard. - Jesse Owens (American Athlete, 4 time Gold Medalist in Track and Field at the 1936 Olympic Games)
  8. Everything about the Olympics was first class, and women were treated as athletes and equals. - Elizabeth Robinson Schwartz [USA] 1928 100meter sprint champion
  9. It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication.- Herb Elliott (Australian middle-distance Runner) Olympic gold 1960 1500 metres.
  10. The six colours, including the white background, represent the colours of all the world's flags ... this is a true international emblem. - Pierre de Coubertin

The Olympic TorchLondon Olympics 2012 Flag

The Olympic torch passes through all 5 continents on its 79 day journey.  Trivial Question: when was this practice of relaying the torch first started?

  1. 1896 - First Olympics of the Modern Era.
  2. 1936 - Berlin - Hitler Olympics.
  3. 1984 - Los Angeles - Commercialization takes off.

Answer

Meanwhile.... The Irish Bob Sled Team Hit Trouble

Olympic Bob Sled Joke

Footnote
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See more about The London 2012 Olympic Games:

The 2012 London Olympics   • Olympics trivia   • London Olympics trivia   • Funny Olympic jokes

Olympics history   • Olympic Games scandals   • Funny Olympic cartoons   • London Olympic stamps

Interesting Olympic facts   • Alternative Olympics   • Olympic Marathons   • Top 10 Olympic athletes