2014 Olympics Fun Facts
posted February 7, 2014 7:43 AM by Emily Boyd
It may be a stereotype, but in my experience it has been true, that librarians (and archivists) love their trivia. In anticipation of the Olympics starting this weekend I decided to find some Olympics fun facts for all your trivia needs. The student lounge on campus is a place where lots of great trivia tidbits are exchanged and I hope to put some of these to use in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to having lots of olympic action on in the background while I catch up on homework and try to keep warm in the bitter cold.
So, because its 2014, I think its only appropriate to provide you with 14 fun facts about the Olympics, past and present, to use to impress your friends and family.
1. The Olympic flame in Olympia, Greece is rekindled every two years using the sun's rays and a concave reflective mirror.
2. With a total of 303, Norway leads with the most medals from the winter games through 2010. The U.S. is second with 253.
3. Curling, figuring skating, speed skating (including short track speed skating), and ice hockey are the only indoor sports in the Winter Olympics.
4. Twelve new events are making their premier this year: men's and women's competitions in ski halfpipe, ski slopestyle, snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel slalom, along with women's ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, team figure skating, and luge team relay.
5. First place winners in the 1900 Paris Olympics received paintings instead of gold medals because they were considered to be more valuable.
6. The 1936 games in Berlin marked the first time the Olympics were televised.
7. The "Olympic Truce" required that wars and disputes within the Hellenic world be suspended for the duration of the Games.
8. The first Torch Relay started in Athens and went through Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria and Czechoslovakia before finishing in Berlin for the 1936 Games.
9. The 1944 Games were cancelled due to WWII. London hosted the first post-war games of 1948.
10. The first official Paralympic Games took place in 1960 in Rome and hosted 400 athletes from 23 countries.
11. Equestrianism is the only Olympic sport in which men and women compete against each other on equal terms.
12. During the Closing ceremony, three flags are raised; the Greek flag to honor the Games' birthplace, that of the current host country, and that of the country hosting the next Games.
13. The 2014 Winter Olympics will be the second games held in Russia, but only the first attended by the U.S. The 1980 games hosted by the Soviet Union in Moscow were boycotted by Team USA in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
14. The "Krasnaya Polyana" (Mountain Cluster) overlooking Sochi will play host to the Olympics outdoor events like skiing and snowboarding. These mountains are credited with being the place where Zeus shackled Prometheus as punishment for stealing fire from the gods to give to humankind. Many Greek mythologists also believe Sochi is where Odysseus encountered the cyclops.