Facts on Olympic Games: Why is it called London Olympics?

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London Olympics 2012
With less than eleven days to go for the most prestigious event London Olympics 2012 to begin, here are a few facts on Olympic Games, how it all started, why is it named after the cities that host them and many more.

Firstly, have you ever wondered the reason behind naming the games by the name of the city that hosts it? There is a reason for that as well.

* Interestingly Olympics is named after the cities that host the games rather than the nations, in keeping with the concept of all city states of Ancient Greece, and that is the reason for the Games being named after the cities.

Though an athlete's age is very important for a prestigious event like this, there are athletes who have broken the barriers, like Hilda L Johnstone, who took part at the 1972 Munich Games at the age of 70.

* 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 Games.

* The first woman to light the Olympic Flame at an opening ceremony was Mexican hurdler Norma Basilio at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.

While there is another one on an athlete who was just seven-years-old, who actually helped his team win the rowing race in the year 1980!

* Dimitrios Loundras, a 10- year-old gymnast from Greece is often quoted as the youngest participant in the Olympic Games but there is a record that a hastily recruited seven-year-old French boy was part of the Dutch team that won the Coxed Rairs Rowing Race at the 1900 Games. Unfortunately, he became bored and wandered off before anyone recorded his name.

* At the 1904 Paris Games, the winners were awarded paintings instead of medals as the French believed that they would be more valuable.

* Over the past 117 years only three Olympic Games have been cancelled and in every case it was due to a World War (1916, 1940 & 1944).

* The first suspension for drug abuse was at the 1968 Mexico City Games. The drug in question was a few pints of beer. The competitor was a Swedish pentathlete, Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall.

* The first Olympic Games in 1896 featured only nine sectors. These were: Athletics, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Weightlifting and Wrestling. All of these except tennis have been featured at every subsequent Games. Tennis was dropped in 1928 and only reinstated in 1988. A gap 60 years.

* The first ever twins to win gold medals at the Games were Gustaf Vilhelm Carlberg and Gustaf Eric Carlberg of Stockholm, Sweden. They were both competitors in the 30 metre 'Duelling Pistol' shooting event.

* Some of the events that have been dropped from the Olympic Games over the years include the Tug-of-War, Pelote Bisque, Cricket, Polo and the shooting of live pigeons.

With these facts, we leave you with many more to follow in the days to come.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Monday, July 16, 2012, 17:00 [IST]
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