With the 2018 Winter Olympics still going strong, we’re all stuck to our TV and computer screens watching all those talented athletes setting new amazing records, and generally cheering for your country. But things weren’t always this smooth for the Olympics, in fact, did you know they started out with a bunch of people beating up each other using deadly gloves? Yeah, those good old days…
Either way, here are 10 surprising facts you didn’t know about the Olympics!
1. Bloody Start
Imagine boxers whamming each other with fists covered in sharp bloody spikes. That’s what the ancient Olympics were all about.
2. First Modern Olympics
Did you know that the first ever modern Olympics also took place in Greece? Athens, 1896, to be specific, and the whole shebang cost around $450,000.
3. Pie or Gold Medal
Here’s a question for you: would you rather have the most expensive pie ever or an Olympic gold medal? Turns out the gold medal is worth around $700, while the most expensive pie ever from Fence Gate Inn in Lancashire, England, costs twice as much!
4. No Olympics for You!
What does Africa and Antarctica have in common? I mean, aside from starting and ending with the same letter. The answer is: they’re the only 2 continents where there were no Olympics. Till 2016 South America was the third one, but then Rio happened.
5. Who Needs Gold, When You Can Have Silver?
Remember those first modern Olympics in Athens? Well, apparently silver medals were the top rewards back then.
6. Sir, Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?
Remember Usain Bolt the fastest man alive (sorry, Barry Allen)? His top speed almost reached 30 mph, which would break the speed limit in some US neighborhoods, and that’s against the law!
7. The Oldest Olympian
Oscar Swahn from Sweden won a gold medal in the 1908 Olympics, when he was 60 y.o. 12 years later, in Antwerp, he sadly didn’t win anything…but instead became the oldest Olympian.
8. How Do They Choose Which Sports to Include?
Why don’t we see some ridiculous sports like phone tossing, or bubble football in the Olympics? Turns out, for a sport to become an official Olympic discipline, it must be practiced in 75 countries by men and in 40 countries by ladies, on at least 3 continents.
9. The Olympic Fire
The Olympic torch can handle a lot of difficulties, including bad weather, rough terrain, and, believe it or not, was taken down to the Great Barrier Reef, and by down I mean underwater.
10. Olympic Lasers
Take a guess how they passed the Olympic fire in 1976 across the ocean? They sent a radio signal from Athens, which triggered a freaking laser that set the torch ablaze!