Because Brazil couldn’t afford to send its athletes to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, they loaded their ship with coffee and sold it along the way.
Mack Robinson, brother of Jackie Robinson, medaled in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Upon returning home to California, the only work he could find as an African American was sweeping streets, which he did while wearing his Olympic ‘USA’ sweatshirt.
During the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, 25,000 pigeons were released during the opening ceremony. When a cannon was fired, the pigeons begun to poop on the spectators watching the ceremony below.
The marathon of the 1904 Olympics had many bizarre events including someone driving to the finish line and pretending to win, someone winning by using rat poison as a stimulant, someone taking a nap and still finishing 4th, and someone being chased a mile off course by aggressive dogs.
Ross Rebagliati, the first man to win Gold in Snowboarding in the Olympics only to be disqualified for marijuana, now owns a medical marijuana business called Ross’ Gold.
A Japanese gymnast, Shun Fujimoto, once broke his knee at the Olympics in 1976 but didn’t tell anyone and performed miraculously despite his injury, winning his team the gold medal.
Pistol dueling with wax bullets was a popular pastime in the early 20th century and even featured as a sport in the 1908 Summer Olympics.
An American gymnast with a wooden leg won six medals, including three gold, in a single day at the 1904 Olympics. He was the only Olympian to have competed with a prosthetic limb for the next 100 years, until 2008.
Károly Takács, a right handed Hungarian shooter, severely injured his right (shooting) hand in a grenade explosion. He retrained himself with his left hand and went on to win 2 Olympic Golds 10 years later.
Steven Bradbury won a gold medal in 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics in speed skating, because everyone in front of him crashed. 3 races in a row.