Twelve things you probably didn’t know about the Olympics

With just 12 days to go before the 2016 Olympics kick off in Rio, we’ve looked back at the history of the Games and picked out some of the more bizarre facts about the event.

Athletes from around the globe (but probably not Russia…) are set to entertain the sporting world from August 5, with records aplenty sure to be set. However, there are some crazy Olympic facts that are unlikely to be bettered…

1. Contestants at the Ancient Games competed in the nude.

2. Greece, Australia, France, Great Britain and Switzerland are the only countries to have had representatives at every Olympic Games.

3. Italian marathon runner Carlo Airoldi walked from Milan to Athens to the 1896 Games. The journey was 28 days.


4. Cricket was included in the 1900 Paris Games. Only two teams entered: Great Britain won, France came second.

5. At the 1900 Games, in France, winners were given paintings instead of gold medals.

6. George Eyser won six medals – three golds, two silvers and a bronze – during a single day of the 1904 Olympics.


7. The 1908 Olympics lasted 187 days between April and October.

8. Quarantine rules saw all equestrian events at the 1956 Melbourne Games held almost 16,000 kilometres away in Stockholm.

9. The first Olympic drug suspension wasn’t until the 1968 Mexico City Games – Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall.

10. A cheque for $40,000 was among lost property left behind at the Barcelona 1992 Games.

11. London’s commitments as 2012 Games hosts included building a dance cafe and a flower shop in the Olympic Village.


12. The oldest ever Olympian was 72-year-old Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn. The youngest was 10-year-old Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras.