11 Reasons Why Olympic Games Are The Coolest
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11 Reasons Why Olympic Games Are The Coolest
Published on: 22th Jun,2023
Last Updated on: 27th Jun,2023

With hundreds of mind-boggling facts roaming about the Olympic Games, there are a few reasons why they are the coolest around the world. Quirky athletes and traditions have followed since the days of the glorious past of the Ancient Greeks to the Modern Olympics that we relish today in the technologically advanced era. Along with being the symbol of probably one of the earliest forms of globalization, this set of games has been celebrating the values of sport, health, and being together.

International Olympic Day, 2023: 11 Reasons Why It's  Unique

  1. A Timeline of Strange Games

Strange Games

Only once before in the history of the Olympic games were live animals killed for entertainment purposes. In an event in the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris was shooting pigeons. Leon de Lunden of Belgium won the competition by hitting 21 of the 300 birds. The event is no longer recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Other unusual competitions at this Olympics included the standing wide jump, standing high jump, underwater swimming competition, and croquet, which drew just one spectator. None of these competitions have ever returned to the Olympics.

  1. Inclusivity is the Essence

Strange Games of Olympic

To provide disabled war veterans an opportunity to participate and heal, the first Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960. Athletes with physical disabilities have previously participated in the Olympics as competitors. George Eyser, an Olympic gymnast, won six medals in 1904 while competing with a wooden leg. People with a variety of disabilities now can compete in the Paralympics. Ibrahim Hamato created history in 2014 when, despite lacking arms and using his mouth to hold the racquet, he won the world championship in table tennis. The first Olympics to feature female competitors was in Paris in 1900. But only at the London Olympics in 2012 did every nation send female athletes.

  1. The Lesser Known Victor

Paralympic Games

When they performed a black power salute on the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, John Carlos and Tommie Smith made a significant political statement in one of the most dramatic Olympic events ever. The fact that white Australian Peter Norman won the silver medal that day is less well-recognized. He displayed a human rights emblem and stood behind the pair in solidarity. Norman was prohibited from competing in future Olympics and, like the two American sprinters, was vilified by the media in his nation for this display. But as a result of his posthumous Order of Merit award in 2008, his contribution has since been acknowledged. At Norman's funeral in 2006, Carlos and Smith both served as pallbearers.

  1. A History Written on the Walls

Lesser Known Victor

The Olympic stadium hosting the competition that year serves as a venue for honoring medal winners in addition to inducting them into Olympic and national history. On the stadium's walls, their names are inscribed, leaving a permanent record of their legacy.

  1. Another One Bites the Gold

Olympic Records on The Stadium Wall

Ever wondered why Olympians bite their medals while receiving them at the awards ceremony? In the past, merchants would verify that a coin contained the valuable metal they needed and wasn't a lead counterfeit, thus it brings back memories of those times. In contrast to a gold coin, a lead coin would not leave tooth marks. Olympic medals only have a gold finish and are not made of gold. Today, the majority of them are made of silver. Gold medals composed of solid gold were last used at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.

  1. The 1500-year Lacuna

Olympic Gold Medals Bite

The first Olympic Games, held in Olympia from 776 BC until 392 AD, were held every four years in conjunction with a festival honoring the Greek god Zeus. A tournament was held every year because the ancient Greeks also held three additional festivals in commemoration of the gods Apollo, Elis, and Poseidon. To promote the broad embrace of Christianity, Roman Emperor Theodosius banned the Olympics in 392 AD. Amazingly, it took 1503 years until the Olympics were held again. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896 and were organized by Pierre de Coubertin, who also founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

  1. A Tale of Friendship

Olympic Games

Japanese athletes Sueo Oe and Shuhei Nishida wrote a new chapter in their friendship. The two were asked to participate in a tie-breaker because they were tied for second place. They declined, though, and decided to split the silver and bronze medals in half. The medals were split in half, and the bronze and silver halves were fused to create what is now referred to as
"the medals of friendship." Japan's Waseda University has an exhibition of Nishida's medal, which is half-bronze and half-silver.

  1. Following the 3 R’s

For the first time, recycled-material medals were awarded in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Authorities gathered used tiny electronic devices from Japanese citizens as part of the "Tokyo 2020 Medal Project" and used those materials to make the about 5,000 medals that Junichi Kawanishi designed.

  1. Marathon: A Story of the Great Sacrifice

Marathon at Olympic

Since the inaugural Games in 1896, the marathon has been a part of the modern Olympics. However, its beginnings can be traced back to 490 BC, when a Greek soldier by the name of Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens over a distance of around 40 km to inform the Athenians of their warriors' triumph against the Persian invaders. He collapsed after the run, yet completed the purpose.

Long-distance racing began after the Pheidippides legend became widely known. An official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers was established in 1921 after initially spanning nearly the same distance as Pheidippides' race.

  1. The Square of Life

Olympic Medal Shapes

The only Summer Olympics in which the medal was rectangular was the 1900 Paris Games. The obverse of the medals, which were created by Frédéric Vernon, featured a winged goddess clutching laurel branches in her hands against a backdrop of Paris and the Universal Exhibition's buildings. The image on the reverse showed an athlete posing victoriously on a platform while clutching a laurel branch in front of an arena and the Acropolis of Athens.

  1. Naked Athletes?

Olympic Athletes

Have you heard? When translated from Greek, "gymnós," which means "naked," it signifies the word "gymnasium"?

While nudity-related sporting events are frowned upon today—or at the very least, unplanned—in Ancient Greece, they were a central part of the Olympic ritual. While athletes competed in loincloths at the first Olympiads, a runner by the name of Orsippus transformed the games' image by appearing naked and appealing to the country as a sign of "Greekness." A gift to the gods, being naked was seen as a sign of strength, bravery, and fearlessness. To show off their bodies to the fullest, participants would even lather themselves in olive oil. 

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FITPASS Editorial Team
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