30 Facts About The Olympics You Should Know

Facts About The Olympics You Should Know
Bryan Turner / Unsphash

Want to see some amazing facts about the Olympics you never knew? Read on.

Ah! The Olympics. That time every two years, when the entire world gathers with zeal, fervor, unbridled excitement, and the spirit of patriotism, all to rekindle and ‘touch’ the essence of the sport.

Even if you happen to be a killjoy when it comes to sports matters, a few minutes under the ‘Olympic atmosphere’ will convince you otherwise.

Unlike in some other sports tournaments, players from over two hundred countries scattered all over the globe come together to give their best performance in split seconds.

All their many months of training is tested by the few minutes of performing, and after which, we either praise their efforts or encourage them to do better next time.

In the spirit of excitement and expectation for the 2021 Olympics, let us consider some super facts about the Olympics you didn’t know about.

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Intriguing Litte-Known Facts About The Olympics

1. James Brendan Bennet Connolly was an American born athlete, who won the first modern Olympic championship in 1896. He became the 1896 champion after winning a gold medal in the triple jump, a silver medal in the high jump, and a bronze medal in the long jump. Although in the 1900 Olympics, he also won a silver medal in the triple jump. 

2. An Olive Wreath (Kotinos) woven into a crown was the ‘medal’ given to an Olympic champion in the ancient Olympics. This ‘olive medal’ is a depiction of honor, peace, unity, and victory.

Facts About The Olympics – Olive Wreath/Kotinos for Ancient Olympic Champions
Kotinos, also known as Olive Wreath, was the prize for the Olympic champion at the ancient Olympic games. Wikimedia Commons

3. The Olympic flame signifies the motion of the Olympic games. Months before the actual games, the Olympic flame is lit in Greece’s Olympia. After that, the Olympic relay begins, and eventually, at the venue of the Olympic games, the Olympic torch is used to light the Olympic Cauldron

4. The U.S.A has hosted the most number of Olympic a total of eight sports since the beginning of modern athletic. Some of these are St Louis (1904), Los Angeles and Lake Placid (1980), Los Angeles (1984), Atlanta (1996), and Salt Lake City (2002).

5. The 1908 summer Olympics, which was initially to hold in Rome later held in London and this particular year’s event, was the first to have an opening ceremony.

6. The Olympic flag has a white background and five rings symbolizing five continent bounded by Olympium. The Blue ring refers to Europe, the Yellow ring refers to Asia, Black refers to Africa, Green refers to Oceana, and Red refers to America.

7. The Rome 1960 Olympic game was the fourteenth of the modern Olympic games. It was also the first Olympic game to be fully televised. It was broadcasted by the United Stated CBS TV network.

8. In 1980, the Olympic game held at Moscow had few nations in attendance because the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) invaded Afghanistan the year before.

9. Pierre De Coubertin, founder of modern Olympic games, coined the motto of the games from a Latin phrase ‘Citius, Altius, and Fortius.’ He created this motto in 1921, and it means ‘swifter, higher and stronger.

10. The Olympic hymns sung at Athens in the 1896 games were declared official by the IOC in 1957. The melody was composed by Spyros Samara’s and Kostis Palamas.

11. The 1900 Olympic game took place in Paris, with twenty-eight nations in attendance. It was at this game that football, equestrian, archery, pigeon shooting, and rowing were introduced into the Olympic.

12. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors the Olympic games and chooses what country will host the games. Therefore, members of the IOC are to represent the interests of the body in their various countries.

13. Since 1896, when the modern Olympic games began, it has only been canceled thrice. The first of such was the games of 1916, which was to hold in Germany. The other two were those of 1940 and 1944. They were to hold in Japan and London, respectively. They were all canceled due to world war 1 and 2, respectively.

14. After Rugby’s 15s of 1924, Rugby has not been played in the Olympic ever since. In 2009 however, after the IOC Rugby made a decision, Rugby was again included in the 2016 games.

15. The gold medals given to deserving athletes at the 1912 Olympics were made entirely of pure gold.

16. Soccer was on the list of games to be played at the first modern Olympic games of 1896, but there were no teams nor players of soccer present at that game.

17. The International Olympic Committee does not commit hosting the Olympic to the host countries. It instead allows the Cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta e.t.c to host the games.

18. London has hosted the Olympic games thrice in 1908, 1948, and 2012 respectively. That’s a good one for the U.K.

19. The Priestess of Demeter presided over the ancient Olympic Games held in the refuge of Olympia in Greece. This priestess was the only married woman allowed to be in these ancient games. This was because players in the ancient games contested naked.

20. In the 1900 Croquet Olympic game, France won all the medals.

21. The Olympic game, held at Chamonix, France in 1924, was the first winter game in Olympic history. Forty-four nations were present at this event.

22. In the opening ceremony, the procession of athletes is led by the Greeks, while all other athletes follow alphabetically according to the host country’s alphabetical arrangement.

23. Pheidippides was the inspiration behind the Marathon. He ran over forty thousand meters from a place named Marathon to inform Athens that the invading Persians had been defeated.

24. If there were any wars within the regions in Ancient times, with the commencement of the Olympic games, they all had to be resolved. This was done to honor the Greek god Zeus.

25. Each city hosting the Olympic games prepares its gold, silver, and bronze medals, given to champions.

26. The ancient games that were held from 776BC to 393AD were mainly religious-oriented, and this led to the games being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius. However, about 1,500 years later, Pierre Coubertin began his work, and the modern Olympic was approved in April 1896.

27. It was in the year 1904, about eight years after the modern Olympic began, medals of gold, silver, and bronze were awarded to winners.

Olympic Facts: 1904 St. Louis Olympics Games Participation Medal

28. Usually, during the ancient games in Olympia, a flame was lit by the sun rays and left lighting till the end of the games. This culture was revived in 1928 after the commencing of modern games.

29. The officially accepted languages at the Olympic games are English, French, and the language of the host country.

30. Although the Olympic flag was first displayed to the public in 1914, it was actually in 1920; the flag was first flown.


There you have it, some super intriguing facts about the Olympics you probably didn’t know. As much fun as it is cheering Team USA or any other team on, it is also important to remember some of the facts that helped to shape the Olympics into one of the best tournaments on Earth today.

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