Did you know…? 10 Fun Facts About the Olympics

1. In the first modern Olympics, Athens 1896, first place winners were awarded silver medals and olive branches. Second place contestants were awarded bronze medals and third place finishers left empty handed.

2. First place winners in the 1900 Paris Olympics received paintings instead of gold medals because they were considered to be more valuable.

3. The first Olympic city to award Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals was St. Louis in 1904.

4. Every two years the Olympic flame is lit at Olympia, Greece by women clad in traditional Greek clothing. Lit through use concave mirror and the sun’s rays, the flame then begins a journey from Greece to the host nation where it is paraded around for months until the opening ceremonies.

5. The five rings of the Olympic flag symbolize Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas and are said to be ‘linked together in friendship.’ At least one of the rings’ colors – blue, black, green, yellow, and red – appear on every national flag of the world.

6. Women were not allowed to participate in the first modern Olympics, but they were soon added to the competition for the 1900 Paris games. More athletes than spectators attended the 1900 Olympics.

7. Stockholm 1912 saw the last gold medals made entirely from gold. Current medals are gold-plated.

8. Berlin hosted the Olympics in 1916 and 1936. The games of 1936 marked the first time Olympics were televised.

9. China did not win a medal until 1984. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics alone, they received 100 medals including 51 gold.

10. The Winter Olympics were established in 1924. Until 1994, both the Winter and Summer Olympics occurred every four years on the same year. In the ’90s, The International Olympic Committee decided to alternate the Olympic games every two years. To get onto a proper alternating schedule, the Winter Olympics were held 2 years apart one time – in 1992 at Albertville, France and in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway.

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