Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Fascinating facts

  • Here are some snippets and tid-bits that you may not know.
  • An interesting fact is that Britain’s first Olympic champion was actually a Scotsman, a minor aristocrat who was born in India. Launceston Elliot won the Single Hand Weightlifting Competition at the 1896 Athens Games.
  • In the 1948 London Games, sporting pictograms were introduced. There were 20 Olympic symbols and they were used on the tickets to help people locate where the event of their interest was beíng held. In 1964, they were re-introduced and since then they have been used in all the Games.
  • The 1908 Olympics were held in London, and a 25-mile course was planned for the Marathon. It was to begin at Windsor and finished in the newly built Olympic stadium in White City. But Queen Alexandra let it be known that she would like the race to start on the lawn at Windsor Castle so that Princess Mary and her children could watch from their nursery window. To gratify this royal whim an extra mile had to be added to the beginning of the course. Then another 385 yards was added to the end of the race so that it would finish under the Royal Box, thus ensuring that Her Majesty would be able to see the exciting finish. Ever since the marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards!
  • The oldest woman to have ever competed in the Olympic Games was equestrian competitor Hilda L. Johnstone who, at the age of 70 years and five days, took part in the Dressage Event at the 1972 Munich Games.
  • The 1981 Academy Award-winning film “Chariots of Fire” was based on the stories of Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, two British Olympic competitors who beat the odds to become gold medallists in the 1924 Paris Games. Liddell won the 400 metres event while Abrahams won the 100 metres sprint. The theme music was composed by Greek Olympic enthusiast Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (Vangelis) and is considered by many to be the best sports soundtrack of all time.
  • Only one Olympic medallist has also won the Nobel Peace Prize and that was Englishman (Baron) Philip Noel-Baker who won the silver medal for the 1500 metre race at the 1920 Antwerp Games.
  • He won the Nobel prize in 1959 for his commitment to the reconciliation of nations and prevention of war.
  • With London hosting the Olympic Games in 2012, it will become the first city in the world to have hosted the event for the third time. Athens would have shared the same honour, but then the 1906 Athens Intercalated Olympic Games are not counted as an official event.
  • It can be said that the very first modern Olympic Games was inspired in a small English village called Much Wenlock in 1866. It was Dr. William Penny Brookes’ idea and the Baron Pierre de Coubertin who was visiting was so inspired by the event that he went on to found the International Olympic Committee.
  • On the opening day of the 1948 London Olympics a Paralympic event was scheduled. This was known as the Stoke Mandeville Games. The competitors were war veterans who had been disabled. Britain became the first country to have the Paralympic Games. The name derives from Parallel Olympics.
  • Did you know?
  • The five-ring Olympic symbol represents the world’s five inhabited continents.
  • The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger.
  • The Olympic flame has been a symbol of the Games since 1928.
  • Participating athletes from Greece are always the first to enter the stadium for the parade.
  • The Olympic Village will be home to 10,500 athletes during the Games.
  • Equestrian events are the only Olympic sport in which men and women compete on equal terms.

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