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14 things you may not know about the Olympic Games


It’s been four years since we enjoyed the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, which saw the likes of Paul McCartney, the Artic Monkeys and even Mary Poppins take to the stage. They were the Games we’ll always remember for Michael Phelps’ six medals that made him the athlete with the most Olympic medals in history, the resurrection of the Spice Girls and the Queen’s parachuting entrance with none other than James Bond. While you eagerly await the start of the 2016 Rio Olympics, here are 14 little pieces of trivia that you may or may not know about the Olympic Games. They’re the perfect way for you to show off your knowledge among friends before the action gets underway.

The first time a woman took part in the Olympics was in 1900 in Paris

But it wasn’t until the 2012 Games in London that every participating country included women in their Olympic squad.

The oldest person to compete in the Games so far was 72 years old.

Oscar Swahn from Sweden holds six Olympic medals, three of them gold. He’s also the oldest ever Olympic champion – he was 64 when he won a gold medal for shooting.

The Olympic Games in Rio will feature two new sports: rugby and golf will form part of the 28 sporting disciplines included in the Games this year.

It’s a return for the sport of rugby, which was previously included until 1924. Who will be crowned the first Olympic golfer?

The names Sergio Rodriguez or Carla Suárez might ring a bell, but did you realise that the Canaries currently has 12 representatives in Spain’s Olympic squad?

Spread over sports such as sailing, tennis, basketball, handball, boxing, weightlifting, gymnastics and golf, the Canaries have proven themselves to be an Olympic archipelago.

The country with the most medals won in the summer games is…the United States!

A total of over 2,000 have been won, more than half of which are gold. We’re waiting to see how they do this summer and whether another country can push them off the top spot, but considering their next closest rival, Russia, is 1,000 medals behind, it’s complicated to say the least.

The first televised Games were those of Berlin in 1936.

However, they were only transmitted in Germany – the rest of us had to wait until the 1960s when the Olympics were finally televised all around the world.

Can you guess the only country to have picked up a gold medal at every single edition of the Olympic Games?

If you thought that it was the United States, you’re wrong! The answer is…Great Britain! It’s also one of only three countries to have taken part in every Olympic Games, together with France and Switzerland.

Stanislawa Walasiewicz

Made history as 100-metre Olympic champion of the 1932 Los Angeles Games and silver medal winner in the 1936 Games in Berlin. But what’s really curious about her is that following her death during an armed assault, her autopsy revealed that she had male genital organs.

Aside from having our own Olympic representatives, Tenerife is also one of the favourite destinations for athletes from all over the world when it comes to where to train.

A recent example includes the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation, which was here in June for some final preparations before heading to Rio.

The first edition of the so-called “Modern Olympics” took place in 1896. Can you guess where?

This is an easy one, it was in the Greek capital, Athens. Since then, the Games have taken place every four years except on three occasions: in 1916, 1940 and 1944, due to the First and Second World Wars.

The very first winner of an Olympic medal was James B. Connolly

Who, after abandoning his studies at Harvard because the University wouldn’t allow him time off to attend the Games, won the gold medal in the triple jump. He also attended the games in 1904, but this time as a journalist – he was a writer as well as an athlete.

Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall

Was the first Olympic athlete to test positive during a drugs test. He was forced to give back the bronze medal he’d won in the 1968 Mexico Olympics after testing positive for…alcohol!

The sister-in-law of our very own super-athlete –  personal trainer and former international swimmer, Nico Gil – is competing in Rio 2016!

She forms part of the synchronised swimming team for her native Argentina.

During the last Olympics there was some confusion when it came to the flags, and when the moment came to bear the flag for North Korea, the one shown was that of…South Korea!

As a sign of protest, the North Korean team stormed off the court and refused to return until the error was rectified, meaning the match started over an hour late.

After learning about some of the most curious things that have taken place in past editions of the Olympic Games, we can’t wait to see what stories this year’s Rio Games will bring us![

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