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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ten True, Funny and Amazing Past Olympic Events

Ten True, Funny and Amazing Past Olympic Events

1. The very first recorded Ancient Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. The event was a 'stadion' race - a foot race equivalent to a 190m or 208yard dash. The winner was a humble baker from the Greek city state of Elis named Coroebus [ Koroibos]. For the first 13 games, the stadion race was the only competition. At the 14th Ancient Olympic Games, a double race was added.

2. American swimmer Michael Phelps holds both the record for most gold medals won in a year, eight, and most career gold medals with 14. (Note: now 22 medals total with18 gold!)

3. The early Olympic Games included competitions for trumpeters.
4. Rope Climbing took place in the following years: 1908 1924, 1932. Rudimentary gym skills were all it took to win Olympic gold in the early 20th century it appears, as this event basically consisted of shimmying up a rope.
5. Club Swinging occurred in 1904 and 1932. This consisted of swinging a club festooned with ribbons around your body and head. Strange but true.
6. Tug-of-War between 1900 -1920.  Indeed this trickiest of sports favoured by rather overweight beer drinkers in pubs was actually considered an Olympic event. We hear competitive tug-of-war gave way to another short-lived event: the 40m three-legged race.
from Discontinued Olympic Sports

7. Live Pigeon Shooting took place in the 1900 Paris Games. Over 300 pigeons were slaughtered in an orgy of blood and feathers. Though it's in dispute as to whether the event was sanctioned by the Olympic council, there's no disputing that Parisian sidewalks were cleaner for a brief period at the turn of the century. Running Deer Single Shot was practiced between the years 1906 and 1936. It was considered more humane than the pigeon shoot because contestants fired at moving paper targets only.
8. In wrestling at the Stockholm Games in 1912, the light heavyweight final between a Swede, Anders Ahlgren, and a Finn, Ivar Bohling, lasted nine hours. Since neither had gained an advantage over the other, no gold medal was awarded. Each received a silver medal.
9. Motor boating was an official sport at the 1908 Olympics. It was frowned upon because the competitors were often out of sight of the watching crowds.
10. Polo was played at the Olympics in 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924, and 1936.
11. Milo of Kroton, one of the greatest Ancient Olympic champions. He won the wrestling event 6 times, over a span of 34 years. [The famous wrestler Milo was said to train by carrying a calf every day.  As the calf grew heavier, his muscles got stronger.]

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