From 1912 to 1952, the Olympics also awarded official medals for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music. Every work of art had to be somehow inspired by the concept of sport. A total of 151 medals were given during these four decades.
The first woman to win Olympic gold in the 100m, was wrongly thought to be dead dead in a plane crash. After the undertaker declared her alive, she spent a few days in and out of consciousness and was told she would never compete or walk unaided again. She went on to win another gold medal.
Nadia Comăneci became the first gymnast to receive a perfect score at the Olympics, at 14 years old in ’76. The song “Cotton’s Dream” was used often by Roger Riger to playback Nadia’s performances. The song became a hit in ’76 & the composers changed the song’s title to “Nadia’s Theme”.
In 1912, Jim Thorpe, has his shoes stolen on the morning of his olympic track and filed events. He simply put on two other shoes that someone had tossed in a trash can. They were different sizes, though, so he had to wear extra socks on one foot to even them out. He went on to win two Gold medal. He was the first to win gold for the US.
Detroit holds the record for the city with the most rejected bids to host the Olympics.
In the 1952 Olympics, Luxembourg won a gold medal which was so unexpected that the band did not know their national anthem and instead had to improvise and played gibberish.
During the Beijing Olympics, a 9-year-old girl who sang a patriotic song at the opening ceremony, was revealed to be a fake lip-syncing. The real singer was a 7-year-old girl who was kept backstage, because she was considered not good looking enough and that might’ve damaged China’s image.
Japan is making all of its medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics out of discarded electronics.
During the 1936 Berlin Olympics, two Japanese pole vaulters who tied for second place refused to participate in a tie-breaker. Upon returning to Japan, they cut their medals in half and fused them to one another so each athlete ended up with a half-silver, half-bronze medal.
Branches from a 3000 year old, still living, Greek olive tree were used to weave victors’ wreaths for the winners of the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.