What an exciting time to be an Olympian, especially a U.S. Olympian! As of today, the U.S.A. has 39 gold medals, and Michael Phelps has made history by winning the most Olympic gold medals ever.
In the spirit of celebrating the 2012 Olympic games, here are 10 Interesting Facts About the Olympics:
- The early Olympic Games were celebrated as a religious festival from 776 B.C. until 393 A.D., when they 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.
- The United States has won more medals (2,189) at the Summer Games than any other country.
- Norway has won the most medals (263) at the Winter Games.
- No country in the Southern Hemisphere has ever hosted a Winter Games.
- Nobody has won more medals at the Winter Games than cross-country skier Bjorn Dählie of Norway, who has 12.
- In 1921, Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, borrowed a Latin phrase from his friend for the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius (“Swifter, Higher, Stronger”).
- Gandhi once covered the Olympics as a newspaper reporter: The 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.
- China’s first Olympic medal was not until 1984.
- 1912 the last year gold medals were made entirely out of gold. They are now silver with gold plating.
- The oldest Olympic medalist was Oscar Swahn, a Swedish shooter. He won his last medal at the age of 72.
The Body Well salutes all the Olympic athletes.
They inspire all of us to be “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.”