Every four years, the Summer Olympics brings together thousands of athletes from around the world to compete in an event that showcases sportsmanship and athletic brilliance. With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics around the corner, let's take a look at some interesting facts about the Summer Games which will take you by surprise.
#1 Olympic gold medals are not made up of gold
The practice of awarding pure gold medals to the Olympic medalists was last followed in 1912. The current Olympic gold medals are, in fact, made up of silver and plated with 6g of gold.
#2 Three Olympic Games in the modern era have been canceled
In the long history of the modern Olympic Games, only three Summer Olympics have been canceled. While the 1916 Berlin Olympics was canceled due to World War I, the 1940 Helsinki Olympics and 1944 London Olympics were canceled due to World War II.
#3 Youngest and oldest Olympic medalists
The youngest Olympic medalist in the history of the Summer Games is Dimitrios Loundras. She was a Greek gymnast who won bronze at the age of 10 in the 1896 Athens Olympics.
The oldest Olympic medalist is Lida Peyton "Eliza" Pollock. She was an American archer who won 2 bronze medals as well as a team gold at the 1904 Missouri Olympics at the age of 66.
Also read: Why Do Olympians Bite Their Medals
#4 Only 5 countries have represented at every modern Olympic Games
In the long history of the Summer Olympics, only five countries have represented at every edition of the Games. They are Greece, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, and Australia.
#5 Official languages of the Summer Olympics are English and French
Given the dual official languages, announcements at Olympic events are made in English, French, and the language of the host country.
#6 The 2021 Tokyo Olympic medals are made up of recycled electronic devices
The upcoming Tokyo Olympics will present athletes with medals composed of recycled electronic devices, including discarded laptops and smartphones. The devices were proactively donated by the citizens of Japan as the material for the medals.
#7 Only one athlete has won gold medals in both Summer and Winter Olympics
Eddie Eagan of America is the only athlete to win gold at the Summer as well as the Winter Olympics. He won his summer gold in boxing at the 1920 Games. At the 1932 Winter Olympics, Eagan clinched the gold in four-man bobsled.
#8 At least one color of the Olympic Rings appears in every national flag
The founder of the modern Olympic movement, Pierre de Coubertin designed the Olympic symbol consisting of five rings colored in blue, yellow, black, green, and red with white in the center. These rings represent the five inhabited continents of the world. Interestingly, at least one of these colors is present in every national flag of every country.
#9 The 2012 London Games was known as the Women's Games
The London Olympics was the first edition of the Games in which all participating countries sent female athletes.
#10 Winners' names are engraved on the stadium walls
Olympic medals are not the only awards given to the athletes. Also, at the main host stadium, the names of the medal winners are written on a wall.