In the Olympic Spirit

Since Friday I watch every day the Olympic Track Trials and get so excited! While watching it, I just want to go outside and run!

29 days until the Olympic Games start – can’t wait! In order to get ready for the Olympic Games, here are some interesting facts I found:

  • The early Olympic Games were celebrated as a religious festival from 776 B.C. until 393 A.D., when the games were banned for being a pagan festival (the Olympics celebrated the Greek god Zeus).
    In 1894, a French educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin, proposed a revival of the ancient tradition, and thus the modern-day Olympic Summer Games were born.
  • Winter Games Begun
    The winter Olympic Games were first held in 1924, beginning a tradition of holding them a few months earlier and in a different city than the summer Olympic Games. Beginning in 1994, the winter Olympic Games were held in completely different years (two years apart) than the summer Games.
  • The Official Olympic Flag
    Created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1914, the Olympic flag contains five interconnected rings on a white background. The five rings symbolize the five significant continents (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceana) and are interconnected to symbolize the friendship to be gained from these international competitions. The colors were chosen because at least one of them appeared on the flag of every country in the world. The Olympic flag was first flown during the 1920 Olympic Games.

  • The Summer Olympic sports
    are archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe / kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon (shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping, and running), mountain biking, rowing, sailing, shooting, soccer, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, triathlon (swimming, biking, running), volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.
  • The Winter Olympic sports
    are alpine skiing, biathlon (cross-country skiing and target shooting), bobsled, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hocky, luge, Nordic combined (ski jumping and cross-country skiing), skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding, and speed skating.
  • The Olympic Flame
    The Olympic flame is a practice continued from the ancient Olympic Games. In Olympia (Greece), a flame was ignited by the sun and then kept burning until the closing of the Olympic Games. The flame first appeared in the modern Olympics at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. The flame itself represents a number of things, including purity and the endeavor for perfection.
    In 1936, the chairman of the organizing committee for the 1936 Olympic Games, Carl Diem, suggested what is now the modern Olympic Torch relay. The Olympic flame is lit at the ancient site of Olympia by women wearing ancient-style robes and using a curved mirror and the sun. The Olympic Torch is then passed from runner to runner from the ancient site of Olympia to the Olympic stadium in the hosting city. The flame is then kept alight until the Games have concluded. The Olympic Torch relay represents a continuation from the ancient Olympic Games to the modern Olympics.
  • The Medals
    The last Olympic gold medals that were made entirely out of gold were awarded in 1912. Since then the Olympic medals are designed especially for each individual Olympic Games by the host city’s organizing committee. Each medal must be at least three millimeters thick and 60 millimeters in diameter. Also, the gold and silver Olympic medals must be made out of 92.5 percent silver, with the gold medal covered in six grams of gold.

  • The Marathon
    In 490 BCE, Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, ran from Marathon to Athens (about 25 miles) to inform the Athenians the outcome of the battle with invading Persians. The distance was filled with hills and other obstacles; thus Pheidippides arrived in Athens exhausted and with bleeding feet. After telling the townspeople of the Greeks’ success in the battle, Pheidippides fell to the ground dead. In 1896, at the first modern Olympic Games, held a race of approximately the same length in commemoration of Pheidippides.
    During the first several modern Olympics, the marathon was always an approximate distance. In 1908, the British royal family requested that the marathon start at the Windsor Castle so that the royal children could witness its start. The distance from the Windsor Castle to the Olympic Stadium was 42,195 meters (or 26 miles and 385 yards). In 1924, this distance became the standardized length of a marathon.
    “Abebe Bikila” of Ethiopia won the marathon in 1960 Rome Olympics by registering a record time of 2hrs 15mins and 16.2 secs. He ran this marathon bare footed. He also became the first African to win an Olympic gold medal.
  • Women
    were first allowed to participate in 1900 at the second modern Olympic Games.
  • Cancelled Games
    Because of World War I and World War II, there were no Olympic Games in 1916, 1940, or 1944.
  • Only four athletes have ever won medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games: Eddie Eagan (United States), Jacob Tullin Thams (Norway), Christa Luding-Rothenburger (East Germany), and Clara Hughes (Canada).
  • Speed skater Bonnie Blair has won six medals at the Olympic Winter Games. That’s more than any other American athlete.
  • Nobody has won more medals at the Winter Games than cross-country skier Bjorn Dählie of Norway, who has 12.
  • The last time the Olympic Games (winter) were held in the US was 2002 (Salt Lake City)
  • The last time the Olympic Games (summer) were held in the US was 1996 (Atlanta)
  • Future Olympic Games:
    • 2014 Sochi (Russia) – Winter Olympics
    • 2016 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Summer Olympics
    • 2018 Pyeongchang (South Korea) – Winter Olympics

But first….

Are you excited for the Olympic Games?

Are you going to watch the Olympic Games? Which sport is your favorite?


7 Comments on In the Olympic Spirit

  1. lisa j
    June 28, 2012 at 9:01 am (3 years ago)

    i love love love Track and Field, so I’ve been on a high watching all the events (unfortunately I just can’t get excited about swimming)

    I literally CRIED watching Ashton Eaton break the world record and named Best athlete in the world— i will be GLUED to my tv when olympics air

  2. justanothermile
    June 28, 2012 at 9:06 am (3 years ago)

    I love the Olympics to a completely unhealthy level! I’ve been watching the track and field trials too. I actually have a friend from high school running tonight in the final round of steeple chase so be sure to cheer him on…Josh McAdams.

    • Christine
      June 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh that’s cool. I will look for him on tv!

  3. Christy
    June 28, 2012 at 12:46 pm (3 years ago)

    I love love love the Olympics!! I don’t know how I’m going to get any work done during them. Besides Track and Field, I love gymnastics, diving, swimming, weightlifting and pretty much all of it. Thanks for sharing the fun facts. I didn’t know most of them and they are interesting to learn and just get me excited!

  4. christina
    June 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm (3 years ago)

    I love swimming, gymnastics, track and field. :)
    I just watched a clip on the Internet of Eaton breaking the record. :) So cool!

  5. Jessica D. Ryall
    June 29, 2012 at 7:10 am (3 years ago)

    I absolutely enjoyed this! Thank you for all the facts about the Olympics. Especially the info on the Marathon. It gives the race more meaning now that I know where it originated from. I will run for Pheidippides too someday!
    And I did not realize ALL the different events! Wow! I’ve only paid attention to the running, gymnastics and swimming in the summer events. I feel educated now. Thank you!!! :~)

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