Tonight all eyes from around the world will be on London and the Olympic athlete’s as they walk in the opening ceremonies.
To kick start the next few weeks of sporting events and all things Olympics to say the least, here are some fun facts about London and the Olympics.
London will become the first city to officially stage the event for the third time, the 2012 Olympics games will be their third time hosting.
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.
Britain was the first country to stage a Paralympics 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.
Have you ever wondered how much the Olympic medals are really worth. Of course they are worth all the blood, sweat and tears of the athletes who receive them, but according to CNN, an Olympic gold medal is only 1.34% gold! Melted down, it would be worth about $650, while a silver medal, which is 93% silver and 7% copper, would be worth $335. As for the bronze medal, which is mostly copper, would be worth about $5.
The Olympic medals are designed especially for each individual Olympic Games by the host city’s organizing committee. Each medal must be at least three millimeters thick and 60 millimeters in diameter. Also, the gold and silver medals must be made out of 92.5 percent silver, with the gold medal covered in six grams of gold.
For the first time in the history of the games, women outnumber men on the U.S. Olympic Team. From 16-year-old gymnastics newcomer Gabby Douglas, to track and field star Lolo Jones and beach volleyball Olympian Jennifer Kessy, these are just a few of the women who will be representing the red, white and blue.
Women were first allowed to participate in 1900 at the second modern Olympic Games.
When choosing locations for the Olympic Games, the IOC specifically gives the honor of holding the Game to a city rather than a country.
Because of World War I and World War II, there were no Olympics in 1916, 1940, or 1944.
We are lucky enough here at IDS to live in a place where the Olympics were hosted. Many of us experienced the exciting events of 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and it makes the Olympics that much more dear to our hearts.