Mary Leela Rao was the first Indian woman to participate in the Olympics.
Rao, a long jumper, took part in the 1952 Helsinki games.
Olympic officials once took apart Dhyan Chand’s hockey stick to see if there was a magnet inside. Adolf Hitler was a fan too, offering to buy it.
Great Britain’s Philip Noel-Baker, who won silver in the 1500 m in 1920, is the only Olympian to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
For a sport to be in the Olympics, it should be ‘widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and women in 40 countries’.
Between 1956 and 1964, a Ukrainian gymnast called Larisa Latynina won 18 Olympic medals—the most by any athlete in history.
In 1964, Ewa Klobukowska won a bronze in the 100 m dash and a gold in the 4x100 m relay. Three years later, she became the first athlete to fail a sex test.
The practice of releasing doves at opening ceremonies was halted after some birds were burned by the Olympic flame at Seoul in 1988.
Cuban Teofilo Stevenson won 3 boxing gold medals. But solidarity led him to refuse a $5 million offer to fight champ Muhammad Ali.
In 2000, Sydney forced its poor and homeless out of city limits so that Olympic tourists would not be privy to the grave ‘domestic crisis’.
In 1896, only first and second places got medals. The winners got silver medals and an olive crown, second place a bronze medal.
Bomber the eagle, supposed to play a stellar part as a US symbol during the ’84 L.A. Olympics, died of a heart attack in training. He was overweight.
The 2004 Athens games' two official mascots are Phevos and Athena, who are brother and sister. they were inspired by an ancient Greek doll.
The Athens games will feature 10,500 athletes from 199 countries in 28 sports at 38 venues and 301 medal ceremonies over 16 days .
Only five countries have competed at all 25 modern Olympics sine 1986: Australia, France, Greece, Great Britain and Switzerland.
The Olympics theme is composed by popstar George Michael who has Greek roots. his real name: Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou .
The shot put finals in this Olympics will be held at the ancient birthplace of the event, at Olympia, hundreds of miles from the rest of the games.
45,000 security personnel will be on duty in Athens: 25,000 police, 7,000 military, 3,000 coast guards, 1,500 fire-fighters and 3,500 private security.
The Olympic torch returned to Greece after travelling through 5 continents, 26 countries and 34 cities.
Over 21,500 members of the world’s media, including about 1,600 TV crews, are expected to be in Athens for this year’s games.