Ten Crazy Olympics Facts:
The Olympics start TONIGHT. To get you in the mood for two weeks of sports you really only watch every four years, here are 10 crazy but TRUE Olympic facts.
#1.) The Olympic rings are yellow, green, red, black, and blue because at least one of those five colors appears in every flag in the world.
#2.) Only one white person has ever run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds . . . several hundred black men have done it. In 2010, a French runner named Christophe Lemaitre ran the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds. –He will not be running it in the 2012 Olympics . . . instead he’s focusing on the 200 meters and the four-by-100 relay.
#3.) At the first modern Olympics, in Athens in 1896, first place finishers got a SILVER medal, not a gold. Second place got a bronze. Third place got nothing.
#4.) At the 1900 Olympics in France, winners got PAINTINGS instead of medals, because the French believed those had more value.
#5.) The first athlete ever to get an Olympic drug suspension was a Swedish pentathlete at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. He tested positive for ALCOHOL because he pounded a few beers before the pentathlon.
#6.) China’s one of the contenders in almost every Olympic event now . . . but they didn’t win their first medal until 1984. They won one in the 50 meter pistol event.
#7.) The 1908 Olympics in London lasted for 187 days . . . they started in April and went until October.
#8.) The oldest Olympian ever was 72-year-old Oscar Swahn, who competed for Sweden in shooting at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.
–The youngest was 10-year-old Dimitrios Loundras, who competed in gymnastics for the Greeks in the 1896 Olympics in Athens.
–The oldest athlete this year is 71-year-old Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan, who will compete in equestrian. He was also in the 1964 OLYMPICS. The youngest appears to be a 14-year-old fencer from Algeria.
#9.) The heaviest Olympian EVER will compete in judo this year. He’s Ricardo Blas Junior of Guam and he weighs 481 pounds.
#10.) At some point, all of these have been Olympic sports: Tug-of-war . . . poodle clipping . . . firefighting . . . solo synchronized swimming (???) . . . delivery van driving . . . live pigeon shooting . . . rope climbing . . . and hot air ballooning.