6 Little Known Facts About Olympics
The 2012 Olympic games are behind us and we decided to compile a list of few interesting things about the big sporting event you may haven't heard before. Here they are:
1. Modern Olympics
After a gap of 1,500 years, the first modern Olympics were organized in Athens, Greece on April 6, 1896. The first competition of the Games was heat one of the 100-meter race, and it was won in 12.5 seconds by American Francis Lane. At that time, winners didn't really receive gold medals - rather, they got silver ones along with a crown of olive leaves, while runners-up went home with bronze medals and a crown of laurel. There were no awards for third place.
2. Women at the Games
In the ancient times, women were not only barred as competitors but were punished with death for even looking at the events. When the modern Games began in 1896, there were no events for women and they first competed in the 1900 Games but were limited to golf and tennis. Wimbledon champion, Britain's Charlotte Cooper, won the singles title on July 9, 1900, becoming the first female Olympic champion.
3. High-tech gear
In the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, the first electrical timing equipment was introduced in the running events. Then in the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, the photo-finish equipment (the Kirby Two-Eyed Camera) was used for deciding close finishes in track races. Another innovation in the LA Games was the three-tiered victory stand for the top three finishers.
4. Olympic oath
In the 1920 Antwerp Games, the concept of the Olympic oath was introduced, with the first athlete to deliver it being Victor Boin, who had competed in two previous Games and won medals at water polo. The first woman to do take the oath was Heidi Schuller in the 1972 Munich Games.
5. Death at marathon
Portugal's Francisco Lazaro was the first athlete to die during an Olympic event after collapsing at the 30-kilometer mark of the marathon in the 1912 Games. Lazaro covered his body with large amounts of wax to prevent sunburns, restricting the natural perspiration.
6. Olympic flag
The famous Olympic flag made its first appearance in the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. It was designed by Baron de Coubertin in 1913 based on an ancient Greek artifact, consisting of five differently-colored interlaced rings. Each of the colors (blue, yellow, black, green and red) appears in the flag of every nation in the world. In addition, 5 rings represent the five major continents, and their link symbolizes the sporting friendship of all the people on Earth.