When Nadia Comaneci achieved the first perfect 10.00 score in gymnastics, the scoreboard wasn’t even capable of showing 2 digits. Instead it showed 1.00
Luxembourg’s gold medal at the 1952 Olympics was so unexpected that the organizers had neglected to give the band a score for their national anthem. The musicians “hurriedly improvised a tune which bore little resemblance to the Luxembourg anthem”.
Félix Carbajal, a Cuban Olympic marathon runner in 1904, ran in cut-off trousers, a long-sleeve shirt and a beret. He stopped to eat some apples, got stomach cramps, had a nap, then kept running, to place fourth. The winner, Thomas Hicks, used brandy and rat poison to assist his victory.
Marathon runner Francisco Lázaro was the first athlete to die at an Olympic event. He collapsed after 30km, having covered large parts of his body with wax to avoid sunburn, which prevented him from sweating.
Men competed nude in the Ancient Olympics to celebrate the achievements of the human body. Because of that married women were not allowed to watch the Olympics with death as a punishment. In Sparta which is more liberal both men and women exercised in the nude. They also used olive oil. “Olive oil was used by the competitors… to provide an appealing look for the participants.”
7 time Olympic Medalist Eero Mäntyranta had a gene mutation that allowed him to carry 50% more oxygen in his body.
At the 1912 Olympics, a marathon runner quit and went home to Japan without telling officials and was considered a missing person in Sweden for 50 years. In 1966, he was invited to complete the marathon. His time: 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.379 seconds.
By analyzing the faces of Olympic medalists after their events, a peer-reviewed study found that silver medalists feel worse, on average, than bronze medalists. Silver medalists feel unlucky, while bronze medalists feel lucky.
In 2006 a Norwegian coach gave a ski pole to a Canadian, allowing her to go on to win a silver medal. Canadian citizens were so touched they collectively gave him 5.2 tonnes of Maple Syrup.