After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian basketball team couldn’t afford to participate in the 1992 Olympics, so the Grateful Dead funded the team’s expenses, and the team wore tie-dye uniforms.
A 3,100-mile ultramarathon takes place around a single Queens NYC block. Runners have 52 days to run the route 5,649 times during which many experience out-of-body hallucinations. Only 43 people have ever finished.
2000 Olympics gold medal winner, swimmer Antony Ervin decided to retire at 22. It didn’t go so well, as he begun abusing drugs. However, in 2011 he got back into swimming, and at the 2016 Olympics became the oldest swimmer to win a gold medal.
Some marathon runners elect to have their toenails permanently removed. Their level of running causes friction on the toes and results in toenails routinely becoming damaged and detached. To circumvent chronic nail wounds, some people just get rid of them entirely.
A maximum-security prison in Uganda has a soccer league (run and played by prisoners), with an annual soccer tournament. The tournament is taken very seriously; they have a uniforms, referees, cleats, and a 30-page constitution. The winning team gets prizes such as soap, sugar, and a goat.
When the 1980 US hockey team was playing the USSR in a pre-Olympics exhibition, it was revealed during the game that a Soviet player had a gun under his jersey. The “player” was a KGB agent used to prevent players from defecting to the West.
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.
Pittsburgh is the only city where all the major sports teams (Steelers, Pirates, Penguins) all share the same colors, as black and gold represent the ingredients to make steel (coal and iron ore).
A high school basketball coach was fired after his team won 100-0 because the Catholic school he worked for thought that winning by such a wide margin did not show a “Christlike and honourable approach to competition”.