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.
At the first Olympic marathon, the stopwatch from the start of the race had to be carried by bicycle all the way to the finish line before the first runners arrived.
In 1908 the Russian Olympic team arrived at the Olympics in London 12 days late because it was still using the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar.
The first athlete to be disqualified at the Olympics for drug use was a Swedish pentathlete who drank two beers before his shooting event to calm his nerves.