Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Preparing for Tokyo 2021: Facts About the Olympic Games You Never Knew
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The Olympics were scheduled to take place in Tokyo this summer, but due to the recent crisis, they have been shifted by one year.
2021 will see Japan host the games, which will be eagerly anticipated after waiting five years rather than the usual four. When they do arrive, they will bring with them excitement, flair and of course, lots of different statistics.
Competitors will be looking to beat personal bests and write their own slice of history for others to marvel at many years down the line. Each Olympic Games also creates fun facts and trivia for fans to pour over and store away for quizzes and to impress friends further down the line.
The Olympic Torch
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It is widely believed that the Olympic Torch is an ancient tradition, passed down from the original Olympics and resurrected for the first modern version of the games in 1896. Sadly, as much as it would be nice to believe, it simply is not true.
It has slightly more sinister origins; it was first introduced for the 1936 games held in Germany as a propaganda tool. It traveled through Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria and Czechoslovakia, all countries that would eventually fall to Nazi Germany.
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The Olympic rings are a familiar symbol of the games, and they do have a specific meaning, MIC reveals they were designed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1912 ahead of the event in Sweden to help promote the brand.
They do have significant meaning too; there are five rings, one to represent each continent of the world. There is no clear definition of which ring represents which continent, but the colors are also very important; at least one of those colors features on the flag of every nation in the world.
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The pinnacle of any athlete’s career is to take home Olympic gold; it is a symbol of the ultimate achievement in their chosen field. However, if they were to scratch away at the surface, they might be a little disappointed. An article by Gala Bingo explains how Olympic gold medals are made out of silver and simply coated in gold. That changed in 1912, the last Olympics to feature a solid gold medal.
At today’s rates, a solid gold medal would cost around $30,000, which with 307 gold medals available would cost organizers almost $10m.
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Only five countries have the distinction of competing at every modern Olympics. Greece, Great Britain, France, Switzerland and Australia have all had competitors at every event and are likely to do so in the future too. As for the United States, we have been at every games bar one: Moscow 1980. Those games were boycotted on political grounds, denying the likes of fencer Greg Massialas and swimmer Kimberly Carlisle a stab at the gold, or rather silver coated in gold.
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A handful of athletes have the distinction of unique doubles, winning gold in very special circumstances. Only one competitor has won medals at both the summer and winter Olympics, and he is from the US. In 1920, boxer Eddie Eagan took home gold, but by 1932 he had switched disciplines, winning another gold at the Lake Placid Games in the team bobsled event.
Two competitors have won medals for different countries too. Daniel Carrol won gold in Rugby with Australia in 1908, then switched to the US and won again in 1920. In more recent times, Kakhi Kakhiashvili first won gold in 1992 in the Men’s Weightlifting as part of the Unified Team, a collection of competitors from the former Soviet States. He returned four years later to do the same as a Greek citizen and made it three in a row in 2000 in Sydney.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy our article about the Calgary Stampede, titled Breaking Glass With Chuck Wagon Driver Jason Glass and the fate of the Calgary Stampede by Chris. W Tutty.
Piece exclusively written for imherewithmag.com
by Bevie Jewely