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Strange Olympic Questions and Answers

Updated on July 19, 2016

Things that make ya go "Hmmmm"...

Admit it, as we all have watched the Olympics, those thought provoking questions have niggled at our minds. Sometimes ended up in discussions, drunken google searches, or just bugging us all night long while we try to fall asleep.

My husband and I had one of these tonight and I decided I was going to investigate. We came up with some questions that we were curious about regarding the Olympics and I hopped on google (I'm not called Google Girl by my friends for nothing!). While some of these answers I gathered from other sites (I admit it, mainly wikipedia) I have also looked at MANY sites for the answers and to verify (cause we all know wikipedia is in the forefront of accurate information). If I got something wrong, please tell me in comments so I can fix it. I don't mind constructive criticism and promise only to cry into a pint of ice cream for an hour after I am told. :)


Why are the Olympics held every four years?

Well it has to do with the ancient Greek calendar. They found out that eight solar years was closer to 99 lunar months. They called this calendar the "octaeteris" and later measured them as two four-year periods which they called "olympiads". Because the Olympics were originally reactments of astronomical myths which described the calendar, they became called the Olympics. We have kept with tradition and the Summer Olympics are every four years. But then, you must ask (as my husband did), why are the Winter Olympics every two years...?


Are the Winter Olympics held every 2 years?

They actually aren't. Both are every 4 years but they alternate. The Winter Olympics started in 1924 and through 1992 they ran the same years as the Summer Olympics. We can well imagine how confusing, overwhelming and expensive this had to be. So after 1992 olympics they determined that the Winter and Summer Olympics would occur every four years but alternate. Which means the Winter Olympics were held again in 1994, making it the only time that there has ever been a less then 4 year gap.


What is the youngest age you can compete in the Olympics?

Well it varies. The youngest is 14 but that is only for specific sports in the Olympics.. There are also certain deadlines that allow players who are below the age requirements to compete as long as they are the required aage by a specific date, even if its after the Olympics. Granted this does not apply for all events and sports. So if an Olympian is 13 by a the deadline, they can compete for that sport as long as the minimum age is 14. On a side note, Dimitrios Loundras, a ten year old gymnast from Greece is often quoted as the youngest participant in the Olympic Games but there is a record that a hastily recruited seven year old French boy was part of the Dutch team that won the Coxed Rairs Rowing Race at the 1900 Games. Unfortunately, he became bored and wandered off before anyone recorded his name.


Who has won the most medals (gold, silver, and bronze) in a single Olympics?

Michael Phelps holds the record for the most medals won in a single Olympics. This includes his 8 gold medal wins in the 2008 Summer Olympics and his 6 gold and 2 bronze in the 2004 Summer Olympics. But did you know he is actually tied for that record? Its true. Aleksandr Dityatin of the USSR in the 1980 Summer Olympics won a total of 8 medals as well, 3 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze. Michael Phelps is the raining record holder for the most gold medals won in a single Olympics.


How many pregnant women have competed in the Olympics?

This year a lot of people have been suprised to hear about Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, the Malaysia Olympian who is 8 months pregnant and competing in the 10m air rifle event. While she is the MOST pregnant woman to compete in the olympics, she is not the first. The three other were Magda Julin from Sweden, who won gold in the 1920 Summer Olympics (it was still a summer sport then), a German skeleton racer who took 4th place in the 2006 Winter Olympics (she was in her first trimester) and Kristie Moore who was five months pregnant at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. In my opinion I think this is a true testitment of women power to see women altheletes in the olympics being not onlly accepted but celebrated!


Who is the oldest person ever to compete in the Olympics?

The oldest man to compete in the olympics was Oscar Swahn of Sweden. He competed in 1908, 1912, and 1920 and at 64 he became the oldest gold medalist in 1912, the oldest medalist in 1920 for his silver win at 72 years old. The oldest women to compete in the olympis was Lorna Johnstone of Great Britian who was in the 1972 olympic games at 70 years old!


Are the gold medals solid gold?

The medals are NOT solid gold. They used to be but as of 1912 they are actually 92.5% silver and plated with at least 6 grams of gold. While the designs are often different, the composition of the medals has to be maintained. Bronze medals are made out of copper and usually tin.


How many times has London hosted the Olympic Games?

London is the first city to ever host the Olympic games 3 different times. They hosted in 1908, 1948 and 2012. In actuality they would have hosted it FOUR times if not for WWII. They were originally scheduled to host the 1944 Summer Olympics but they were cancelled due to WWII. In 1948 though they almost didn't host due to post-war financial issues and rationing problems. But since they already had everything built for the 1944 olympics they figured why not, and said "Come on over govn'r!"


Sex tests in the Olympics?

As of 1968, gender testing is a requirement to compete in the olympics. But only for female althletes, not particularly fair in my book. The only female who didn't have to submit to a gender test was Princess Anne of Great Britian in the 1976 Summer Olympics because as the daughter of the Queen it was seen as inappropriate. So yes all our female athletes have had to show they are women to compete this year. My question is...why aren't we checking the guys to make sure their trunks are real? Or is it just because we know women are generally more honest and would never pretend to be a guy to win?


1st place win and i got a ...silver medal?

At the first modern Olympics in 1896, held in Athens, Greece, there were no gold medals awarded. Silver medals were awarded for winners and bronze for 2nd place. In the 1900 olympics they didn't give out medals at all but trophies or cups. What a rip off!

Ya the olympics are coming...wait...cancelled???

The olympic games have been cancelled 5 diferent times in the past (1916, 1940, and 1944), all due to war. The 1916 Summer games were cancelled due to WWI, the 1940 and 1944 Winter AND summer games were cancelled due to WWII. Aren't we glad that this hasn't happened since they've been televised!


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    • the girls profile image

      Theresa Ventu 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Interesting facts on summer olympics. They are not strange though but actual questions asked by newer generation :-)


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