The Olympics is one of the most prestigious and popular sporting events. This article explores several exciting and perhaps unbelievable aspects of the Olympic Games.
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With hundreds of bizarre Olympic traditions dating back to the days of the Ancient Greeks and continuing to the modern Olympics, here are five crazy facts:
The Naked Olympics
While the early Olympiads saw players compete in loincloths, a runner named Orsippus altered the aura of the games when he emerged naked, inspiring the nation as a beacon of ‘Greekness.’
Nudity was regarded as a show of fearlessness, strength, and might and a form of worship to the gods. To highlight their physiques, participants would even slather on olive oil.
More than A Thousand Year Break
The ancient Olympic Games, held in Olympia from 776 BC until 392 AD, were held every four years in connection with a festival honoring the Greek god Zeus.
In 392 AD, Roman Emperor Theodosius banned the Olympics to purge his empire of paganism in favor of universal Christian acceptance.
Surprisingly, it took 1503 years for the Olympics to return. The modern Olympics were born in Athens in 1896, thanks to the efforts of Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Olympic Flame is Never Off
It has traversed the globe on the supersonic Concorde, through twisting rivers, and even into space. It can resist high temperatures and winds up to 50 mph and has yet to fail over its lengthy relays all around the planet. If it does, a backup torch lighted from Athens’ mother flame is never more than 30 seconds away.
Kids and Amateurs Have Participated
Regulations have been implemented to ensure that the Olympics are as fair and level as possible, but that does not mean that athletes have not exploited gaps in the past.
The Eddie the Eagle Rule was implemented to prevent amateurs from competing in the Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee mandated that all athletes in the Games finish in the top half of an international competition.
Young individuals could compete in the Olympics until 1997 when the International Olympic Committee mandated that only those over 16 could do so. Dimitrios Loundras, the youngest Olympic athlete, competed in the 1896 Olympic Games at 10 years old.