Hooray for the Olympics! Tonight is the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. These Summer Games only come around every 4 years, so today we will break away from the print industry to focus on this awesome event. Below are some cool facts that you probably didn’t know:
Did you know the first modern Opening Ceremonies ever were in London in 1908? 104 years later and we’re right back at it.
Did you know the first “marathon” was in 490 BCE? Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, ran from Marathon to Athens (about 25 miles) to tell citizens of Athens about the outcome of a battle with the Persians. The run was grueling and after telling the people about the Greeks’ success in the battle, Pheidippides fell to the ground dead. And in 1896, at the first modern Olympic Games, they held a race of approximately the same length in honor of Pheidippides.
Did you know the last gold medals made entirely out of gold were presented in 1912? Imagine what one of those puppies might be worth today…
Did you know the Olympic Flag (with the five colored rings) debuted in 1920? Those colors were used because at least one of the colors could be found on every flag of every country in the world. There are 5 rings to represent the 5 “significant” continents…sorry Australia!
Did you know women were first allowed to participate in the Games in 1900? And now, on the 40th anniversary of “Title IX”, our USA women’s basketball team is going for 40 straight wins and their 5th straight gold medal.
Did you know that there were no Olympic Games in 1916, 1940, or 1944? All of them were cancelled due to World War I and World War II.
Did you know that 1994 was the first year that the Winter Games were held in a completely different year than the Summer Games? Until then they had just been separated by a few months.
Did you know the Olympic flame is a tradition carried on from the ancient Olympics? It made its first appearance in the modern Olympics in 1928 in Amsterdam. The flame is lit in ancient Olympia and then relayed around the globe to the host city.
Pretty cool, eh? Enjoy the games and make sure to have your “U-S-A!” chant ready to go at a moment’s notice.