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10 crazy Olympics facts

From a marathon run of 54 years to the killing of pigeons, this list has some surprising facts about the Olympics.

The wait is almost over as the marvelous city of Rio Di Janeiro is all set to host the 31st edition of the Olympics. If the participation in various competitions meets the expected numbers, Rio 2016 will become the biggest sporting spectacle in the history of mankind. A total of 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in Rio 2016, representing 207 different countries. 

Rio di Janeiro is the first South American city to host the Olympics, having beat the cities of Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago in the final stage of voting. The city is in the spotlight again, two years after hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

Ever since its inception in 1896, the modern Olympic games have witnessed all kinds of drama and emotions, and some of the facts about the Olympic games are simply astonishing. Here is a list of 10 stupefying and staggering Olympic facts!

#1 The 54-year long marathon run

Shiso Kanakuri
The Japanese runner completed the marathon 54 years after starting

Yes, you read it correctly, the number mentioned is indeed 54! Japanese athlete Shiso Kanakuri took 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds to finish the marathon run he started in the 1912 Stockholm Games. He was one of the two athletes who represented Japan at the 1912 Stockholm Games and his selection was made after an impressive performance of finishing a 25 mile run in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 32 seconds.

The tiredness of the 20-day long journey from Japan to Stockholm and the extremely hot conditions on the day of the Games got the better of him as he lost consciousness midway through the race. A Swedish farming family saw Kanakuri in that state and tended to him. Kanakuri was devastated by his failure to finish the race and left for Japan the very next day without notifying the Swedish Olympic committee.

He was invited by the Swedish National Olympic Committee to finish the race on the 55th anniversary of the Stockholm games. At the age of 75, he finished the marathon by running a lap around the Stockholm Olympic stadium. “It was a long trip. Along the way, I got married, had six children and 10 grandchildren,” he said.

Kanakuri died at the age of 92 and is considered as the “father of marathon” by the Japanese.

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