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Olympic Games: Interesting Facts You May Not Know

Olympic Games: Interesting Facts You May Not Know

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The Olympic Games are the most prestigious platform for athletes to showcase their skills through ancient greek games and some modern ones. It takes place once in 4 years, either through the winter games or region-specific events like the Beijing Olympic summer games.

Having said that, this article covers all the interesting facts about the Olympics and the secrets behind the black green red symbol. Needless to say, the event is hosted in different countries, so if it took place in the United States this year, then the next one will be hosted somewhere else. 

The Olympic Oath

Olympic Oath

The Olympic oath is the solemn promise that is made by the participants, judges, and officials in the Olympic games during the Opening Ceremony. In fact, the oath taker must represent the host country and make the promise on behalf of the officials, coaches, and players of the games. 

To dive deeper into history, the athlete’s oath was introduced in the 1920 Summer Olympics. On the other hand, the oaths for the officials and coaches were put forward in 1972 and 2010. Eventually, all the oaths were combined and recited together at the 2018 Winter Olympics games and onwards. 

This tradition started with the Ancient Olympic Games where the participants had to swear in front of the status of Zeus. Victor Boin was the first man and Giuliana Minuzzo was the first woman to take the oath in the 1956 Winter Olympics games. 

Over the years, the modern Olympic games’ oath has evolved to eliminate nationalism, promote equality, and reflect drug use. 

The Olympic Flame

Olympic Flame

Just like the Olympic oath, the Olympic flame is a legacy that must be carried on to maintain the continuity between the Ancient Olympic games and the modern Olympic games. Generally, the flame is lit at Olympia, Greece several months before the actual game. 

If you have seen the torch-bearing scene on television, then you know that the flame-burning event ends with lightning in the cauldron in the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics and Winter Games. 

To get a little more history, the Olympic games flame was introduced by the architect Jan Wils at the 1928 Summer games in Amsterdam. 

Before the flame is lit in Greece, 11 women who embody the Vestal Virgins perform at the Temple of Hera. A female takes up the role of the priestess gives a torch and olive branch to the 1st relay bearer, and releases a dove to indicate peace in the provincial park. 

Interesting Facts About the Olympic Games

This section is all about the interesting facts about the Olympic summer and winter games. Some of these interesting facts may really surprise you as these games have a long history. 

Nudity was a Norm

Although this type of inappropriate behavior is looked down upon right now, in ancient Greece, this was a strict tradition. Let’s be honest. We have seen many times of ridiculous traditions in the world. 

So, the first participants competed in loincloths, but then a daredevil runner called Orsippus took part naked, and changed the way the game was held! Back in those days, nudity was considered a symbol of power and courage. It still is though. 

Must Bite the Medal

There is a weird tradition in this championship that the winners must bite their medals during the awarding ceremony. It also takes us back to the age when merchants had to bite the metal to check if they were made of the right medal. For instance, lead left bite marks, but gold didn’t!

Racial Protesters Were Punished

This is an interesting fact but also unfair at the same time. John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their gloved fists when the national anthem was played in the 1968 Olympics. They were both gold medal winners. 

Later, this type of political gesture protesting racial injustice and segregation was not received nicely by the Ancient Olympic Games committee. As a result, they were banned from the Olympic provincial park, and even the public treated them harshly. Some even went as far as sending death threats!

Winners Received Olive Crowns, Not Medals

In the present era, we measure the success of the modern Olympic games with medals gold silver bronze. But long before this became the tradition, Ancient Greek people demanded that the winner be awarded crowns of olive leaves!

Moreover, the champions of the Ancient Olympic Games Olympia received more than just crowns after going home. People in their hometowns showered them with food, money, and gifts. Sometimes, this festivity went on for life!

It Started with 9 Sports

Yes, it took time for the Olympic games to constitute 33 different sports and include athletes from 208 countries. Long before this was the case, there were only 9 sports in the competition. 

Both winter games and summer games included gymnastics, cycling, shooting, swimming, diving, wrestling, weightlifting, tennis, and field events. 

Now the sports list is insane, and includes modern games like rugby, skiing, figure skating, golf, futsal, hockey, boxing, surfing, biathlon, skateboarding, beach volleyball, handball, judo, karate, and plenty of other options!

1900 Paris Olympics Murdered Many Pigeons 

Live animals have been killed for the Olympics whether you like it or not. Although after human consciousness evolution, these types of cruel sports are no longer entertained. However, during the 1900 Paris Olympic games, Leon de Lunden made a record by shooting and killing 21 of 300 birds to win a gold medal! 

Disabled Athletes Were Welcome to Participate 

This is good news for us because we appreciate that the medals gold silver bronze was reserved for them at some point in history. American George Eyser was the first person with a leg disability to participate in the Ancient Greek games in the provincial park. 

He took part in the 1904 St. Louis Olympics gymnastics with a wooden leg and was able to win 3 gold medals in one day! Later on, other athletes with disability also took part in the games. They were Polish table tennis player Natalia Partyka and South African swimmer Natalie du Toit. 

Currently, there is a center in Abbotsford, British Columbia called Special Olympics where children and adults with intellectual disabilities can get training to participate in the actual summer and winter Olympic games.  

Four Olympic Sports That You Did Not Know Were Invented by Canadians

Olympic sports

Some interesting facts about Canada are that just like all other countries, it has contributed to the dynamic library of the Olympic games. 

In fact, the Canadian Olympic games are so ingrained in modern Winter Olympics and summer games that you will be surprised when you see the list below! 

Wheelchair Rugby

It was only in 2000 that wheelchair rugby became a popular sport in the Olympics. 

Lacrosse

Lacrosse became recognized and featured as part of the Olympic games in 1904. 

Hockey

Hockey became a part of the Summer Olympics in Antwerp in 1920. 

Basketball 

Basketball is a Canadian Olympic game that was indoctrinated in 1936. 

Parting Words

To end this exclusive article on the interesting facts of the Olympics, you can also become take part in the Winter Olympics of the United States if you have the talent. You have to train yourself every day in the provincial park and strive to become like alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

Besides, remember the fun facts that we discussed and learn as much as you can about this legendary competition. That’s it for now!

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