Happy Olympic Day!

Raw steak and salad inspire a future military great

When George S. Patton, Jr was preparing for the modern pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm he used to eat a plate of raw steak and salad after each training session. On the final day of the competition, he prepared for the cross-country run by receiving an injection of opium. The regime saw Patton finish fifth. He later found greater fame for commanding the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean and European during World War Two and for his leadership of the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

Rowing saves life of double Olympic gold medallist

At the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Britain's Hugh "Jumbo" Edwards won the gold medal in the coxless pairs event with Lewis Clive and a second gold in the coxless four on the same day. During World War Two it was his rowing ability which saved his life. While serving as a squadron leader with the Royal Air Force's Coastal Command in 1943, he was forced to ditch his plane in the Atlantic Ocean. He rowed a dingy four miles through a minefield to safety. He was the only member of the plane's crew to survive. 

The Olympics three cities were chosen to host but never took place

Three different cities were selected to host the 1940 Winter Olympics before the event was finally cancelled. They were originally awarded to Sapporo but the Japanese organisers withdrew in 1938 because of the second Second Sino-Japanese War. The International Olympic Committee decided to give the Games instead to St. Moritz, host of the 1928 event. There were some problems, however,  between the Swiss organisers and the IOC so the Games were cancelled again. The IOC then awarded them to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the German city which had hosted the Games in 1936. The event was due be held from February 2 until 11 but was abandoned following the start of World War Two. St Moritz were awarded the 1948 Winter Olympics and had only 18 months to organise them. Sapporo finally got to hold the Winter Olympics in 1972.