1. THE LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES: AMAZING FACTS
THE LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES: AMAZING FACTS
When London hosts the Olympic Games in 2012 they will become the first city to officially
stage the event for the third time. Athens would also share this honour but for the fact that
the 1902 Athens Intercalated Olympic Games are not counted as an official event.! Great
Britain only won 3 gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics and finished 12th in the meda
tables. In total team GB won 23 medals. Subtract the Gold medals and put the numbers
together and you get 2012. Amazingly, 3 nations won exactly twenty medals and the 6th and
7th won 20 and 12 consecutively. In 1948 the USA came first in the medal tables with 84
medals. Add 48 and 84 and you get 'London' 132. which can be written as London Won
20+12. Numerology strikes again!
There is a very fair argument that the first modern Olympic Games actually took place in the
small English village of Much Wenlock in 1866 - some 30 years before the 1896 Athens
Games. They were the brainchild of Dr. William Penny Brookes and were visited by Baron
Pierre de Coubertin who was so inspired by the event that he went on to found the
International Olympic Committee. In 1994 the president of the IOC, Juan Antonio
Samaranch, laid a wreath of the grave of Dr. Penny Brooke and acknowledged him as the
'real' founder of the Modern Olympic Games.
One of the London 2012 mascots is called Wenlock in recognition of the Much Wenlock
One of the two designers of the 2012 Olympic Torch was originally from Shrewsbury a large
town near Much Wenlock in Shropshire England.
Britain's first Olympic champion was actually a minor Scottish Aristocrat born in India.
Launceston Elliot won the Single Hand Weightlifting Competition at the 1896 Athens
Games. He is considered an inspiration for the first colour entertainment' film about the
Olympics called Geordie and made in 1955.
The sporting pictograms that are now an integral part of the Olympic Games were first
introduced at the 1948 London Games. There were originally just 20 Olympic Symbols and
they were used on the tickets to help people find the events. They were reintroduced at the
1966 games and have been used ever since.
The 1948 Olympic Games were the first to be held after the death of Baron Pierre de
Britain was the first country to stage a Paralympic event which took place on the Opening
day of the 1948 London Olympics and were known as the Stoke Mandeville Games.
Competitors were disabled war veterans. The name derives from Parallel Olympic.
One of the Mascots being used for the 2012 London Games has been named Mandeville in
recognition of the Stoke Mandeville games for the disabled.
The 1981 Academy Award-winning film 'Chariots of Fire' was based on the stories of Harold
Abrahams and Eric Liddell, two British Olympic competitors who beat the odds to become
gold medallists at the 1924 Paris Games. Liddell won the 400 metres event while Abrahams
won the 100 metre sprint. The theme music was composed by Greek Olympic enthusiast
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (Vangelis) and is considered by many to be the best
sports soundtrack of all time.
Only one Olympic medallist has also won the Nobel Peace Prize and that was Englishman
(Baron) Philip Noel-Baker who won the silver medal for the 1500 metre race at the 1920
Antwerp Games. He won the Nobel prize in 1959 for his commitment to the reconciliation of
nations and the prevention of war.
The 27th July 2012 is the opening day of the London 2012 Olympic Games but exactly 100
years earlier it was the last day of the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. It is precisely 2 days
earlier than it was the last time it was held in London in 1948.
The first official supporting event of the London 2012 is the London Parade which will take
place on the 1st of January 2012.
At the 1908 London Games the organisers of the Marathon discovered that the British Roya
Box was 385 yards further down route than the 26 mile finishing mark. The route was
extended to finish exactly in front of King Edward VII and has been 26miles and 385 yards
The oldest woman to have ever competed in the Olympic Games was equestrian Hilda L.
Johnstone who, at the age of 70, took part in the Dressage Event at the 1972 Munich
It has been announced that there will be serious fines of up to £20,000 for anyone
'streaking' at the London 2012 Olympic Games if they are using their nudity or partial nudity
to advertise any product or brand that is not already associate with or a sponsor of the
Games. It is uncertain what will happen to people who just get naked for fun.