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50 Sporty Facts about World’s Greatest Sporting Spectacle – ‘The Olympics’

1Croquet

After the 1900 Olympics, croquet was discontinued because only 1 spectator watched the event. - Source


2. An Olympian named Laura Trott was born with a collapsed lung, diagnosed with asthma, stands little over 5ft, weights 115lbs and is now a double Olympic gold medalist in track cycling.


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3. The USA has never won Olympic medals in just 3 sports: handball, badminton, and table tennis. - Source


4. The 2020 Olympics will take place in Tokyo, as predicted in the manga Akira in 1982. - Source


5. Mack Robinson, brother of Jackie Robinson, medaled in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Upon returning home to California, the only work he could find as an African-American was sweeping streets, which he did while wearing his Olympic 'USA' sweatshirt. - Source


6US rugby team

The USA won the last ever Olympic gold medal for rugby in 1924 and are therefore technically still reigning champions. - Source


7. Margaret Abbott was a woman who competed in and won a golf tournament in Paris. After her death, it was discovered that this tournament was part of the poorly-organized 1900 Olympics. She never knew she was an Olympian. - Source


8. Young Greek hoplites (citizen soldiers) had to dress in heavy armor and run a foot race of 1,300 ft in the Olympics. This was done to develop the battlefield tactic of rushing to the Persian lines in rapid pace so as to counter their archers. - Source


9. Dave Wottle is an American runner who won gold in the 800m race of the 1972 Olympics. He went from dead last to first in the final 200 meters, wearing a golf cap. - Source


10. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, North Korean and South Korean athletes came together to march as one under the unified banner of 'Korea' during the opening ceremony.


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11George Eyser

An American gymnast named George Eyser won 6 medals, including 3 gold, in a single day at the 1904 Olympics. He was the only Olympian to have competed with a prosthetic limb for the next 100 years, until 2008. - Source


12. 28 countries boycotted the 1976 Olympic Games because New Zealand was allowed to compete. - Source


13. Some Koreans are trying to rename their country back to "Corea". They believe that Japan changed the spelling to "Korea" so Japanese athletes would march first at the 1908 Olympics. - Source


14. Dick Fosbury won the gold medal at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, setting a new record, and reinventing high-jumping overnight. - Source


15. The 1976 Olympics were a financial disaster for Montreal, as the city faced debts for 30 years after the Games had finished. It was only in December 2006 that the olympic stadium's costs were finally paid in full.


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16Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens, winner of four golds in the '36 Olympics said, "Hitler didn't snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram." - Source


17. Czechoslovak runner Emil Zátopek decided to compete in the marathon in the 1952 Olympics, despite never having run that distance in his life. Zátopek asked fellow runner Jim Peters, who he was racing alongside if the pace was fast enough. When Peters said "no", Zátopek sped up and won the race - Source


18. The host nation in the Olympics automatically qualifies for all events. - Source


19. In 1968, Olympic long jumper Bob Beamon's first attempt exceeded the limit of the official measuring equipment. It took over 15 minutes before a distance was posted, and only then did he realize he had broken the world record by nearly 2 feet (0.6m). - Source


20. Because Brazil couldn't afford to send its athletes to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, they loaded their ship with coffee and sold it along the way. - Source


21Finland and Sweden

Finland and Sweden are the only countries in the world that have earned a medal at every Olympic game since 1908. - Source


22. At the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, Hawaiian-American Duke Kahanamoku overslept and missed his qualifying heat in the 100m freestyle. His main rival, Cecil Healy of Australia, convinced judges to hold a special qualifying race for Duke. Duke ended up going on to win the gold, and Cecil took silver. - Source


23. The night before the Olympic final, Michael Jordan apparently spent the night drinking and gambling all night, then he went on a long day of press appearances, plus 18 holes of golf in Barcelona, before he went on to lead Team USA in a gold-medal winning victory over Croatia. - Source


24. The last Olympic gold medals entirely made out of gold were awarded in 1912. - Source


25. Amy Van Dyken, a 6-times Olympic gold medalist swimmer, has been an asthmatic her whole life, proving that children with asthma can grow to be Olympic-level athletes! - Source

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