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Olympic Games Trivia

Updated on August 24, 2012
2008 Olympics. Hong Kong Art Museum
2008 Olympics. Hong Kong Art Museum | Source

The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing this year in London, England. The modern Olympic Games have been every four years in different locations and hosed by different countries around the world for over one hundred years. The original, Ancient Olympic games were first held in Greece over two thousand years ago (almost three) and continued for about a thousand years; ending with the changing times and the growth of global religion. They even had a form of Summer and Winter Olympics (two separate games: one for women and the main games for the men). To commemorate the 2012 summer games, I compiled a short list of trivia about both the Ancient Olympic Games and the Modern Day Games:

1. The first Olympic Games were held in Greece over two thousand, five hundred years ago, in 776 B.C., in honor of the Greek god Zeus. The winner of the games was awarded the prize of a wreath of laurels and a year’s supply of olive oil.

2. Only non-enslave Greek speaking men could participate in the games. In fact, woman weren't even allowed to watch the games. the punishment for a women viewing the games was to be thrown off of a cliff. This was a deterrent against women from wishing to particapate in sports.

3. However; women were given a sporting game of their own; just not the offical Olypmic games, which were only for men. These games, known as the Heraean Games, were held before the male-dominated Olympic Games; these were primarily foot races for the women. The winner was made a priestess of Hera. Female athletes like Cynisca and Bilistiche (who won a chariot race) were recorded participants. Interestingly, women were required to wear clothing during their races; whereas the men, during their games, competed completely nude.

4. Spartan men were not allowed to compete in the wrestling competitions, because they would instinctively kill their opponents.

5. The Greek games were ended in 394 A.D. by the Holy Roman Empire in an attempt to cement Christianity in the region; the Games were viewed as a pagan festival.

6. The French Revolutionaries tried to recreate the Olympics in the late 18th century (1796-1798).

7. In Shropshire, England, in 1850, the Wenlock Olympic Games were started.

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8. In Liverpool, England, in 1862 and in 1867, the Grand Olympic Festival was held.

9. The modern day Olympics began in 1896; they were held at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece.

10. The torch relay was introduced in 1936 at the Germany-hosted Games in an attempt to showcase Germany’s National Socialism.

11. The present, modern day Olympics held in Montreal 1976, Barcelona 1992 and London 2012 have been the most costly of the recent games; with the following price tags: London, $14.8 billion; Montreal, $6 billion; Barcelona, $11.4 billion.

12. The Olympic Games motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius (“Faster, Higher, Stronger”).

13. The ringed symbol represents the five continents of Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

14. The Olympic Games have a 100% overrun cost; with an overage ranging between 179%--324%.

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    • Edgar Arkham profile image
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      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Thank you for reading; glad you enjoyed it.

    • unvrso profile image

      Jose Juan Gutierrez 5 years ago from Mexico City

      Interesting trivia questions! I have heard that on every Olympics, there are many new world records attained by some athletes. That goes with the Olympic Games motto (Faster, Higher, Stronger). Voted up! and interesting!

    • Edgar Arkham profile image
      Author

      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Thank you for reading!

    • profile image

      whowas 5 years ago

      What a curious collection of odd facts. How times have changed from the early days of the Olympics when only non-enslaved, male Greeks could participate. Changed for the better, I might add! Interesting stuff.