Happy Olympic Day!


Fact of the Day


Ice hockey made its Olympic debut in 1920 at the Summer Games in Antwerp.

Ice hockey made its Olympic debut in 1920 at the Summer Games in Antwerp. The decision to include it was made three months before the start of the Games after five European nations committed to participate and officials at Antwerp's Palais de Glace d'Anvers refused to allow it to be used for figure skating unless hockey was included. The winners were Canada, represented by the Allan Cup-winning Winnipeg Falcons.

Four Hungarian Olympic fencing gold medallists died in German concentration camps during World War Two

Four Hungarian Olympic fencing gold medallists died in German concentration camps during World War Two. They were Oszkar Gerde, a winner in London 1908 and Stockholm 1912; Janos Garay, a gold medallist at Amsterdam 1928; Endre Kabos, a champion at Los Angeles 1932 and winner of two more golds at Berlin 1936; and Attila Petschauer, a gold medallist in 1928 and 1932. Petschauer's story was later dramatised in the 1999 film Sunshine, starring Ralph Fiennes.

Britain's Ken Richmond, who won an Olympic bronze medal in wrestling in the heavyweight division at Helsinkin 1952, gained subsequent exposure as the well-muscled leviathan who struck the enornmous gong in the opening titles which preceded films from the

Britain's Ken Richmond, who won an Olympic bronze medal in heavyweight wrestling at Helsinki 1952, gained subsequent exposure as the well-muscled leviathan who struck the enormous gong in the opening titles which preceded films from the J.Arthur Rank Studios. Before he died in 2006, Richmond revealed to friends a closely guarded secret that the gong was a papier-mâché stage prop.

In 1924 Bill Havens was chosen to represent the United States in rowing at the Olympics in rowing but, as his wife was pregnant, he opted to stay with her rather than compete.

In 1924 Bill Havens was chosen to represent the United States in rowing at the Olympics in rowing but, as his wife was pregnant, he opted to stay with her rather than compete. At Helsinki in 1952, that child, Frank, won the gold medal in the 10,000 metres C-1 canoe event. Havens proudly presented the gold medal to his father, thanking him for waiting around until he was born.

Italian cyclist Giovanni Pettenella, winner of the individual sprint at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, so impressed Shigesato Itoi, the creator of the 1995 video game Mother 2 that he used his name as an obscure character who lost his contact lens in the des

Italian cyclist Giovanni Pettenella, winner of the individual sprint at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, so impressed Shigesato Itoi, the Japanese creator of the 1995 video game Mother 2 that he used his name as an obscure character who lost his contact lens in the desert. By finding and returning it to him in the second floor of the bakery in the next town you reach, he will give you a pair of dirty socks in return, which can be used in battle.

Benjamin Spock won an Olympic gold medal in rowing at Paris 1924 as part of the Yale eight which represented the United States after being invited to be part of the team by James Rockfeller.

Benjamin Spock won an Olympic gold medal in rowing at Paris 1924 as part of the Yale eight which represented the United States after being invited to be part of the team by James Rockfeller. In 1946 and, by then, a qualified pediatrician, he found even greater fame with the publication of the book Baby and Child Care, which has been translated into 39 languages and is believed to be the second biggest selling book in history after the Bible.

Cornishman V was a horse who won Olympic gold medals in the three day event at Mexico City in 1968 and Munich 1972, when Britain came first in the team event on both occasions.

Cornishman V was a horse who won Olympic gold medals in eventing at Mexico City in 1968 and Munich 1972, when Britain came first in the team event on both occasions. Cornishman was ridden in Mexico City by Richard Meade and in Munich by Mary Gordon-Watson. He was retired from eventing in 1973 but then begun a second career as a film star. In 1974 Cornishman appeared in the film based on a Dick Francis thriller Dead Cert, and in 1978 he was in International Velvet, starring Tatum O'Neal, Christopher Plummer, Anthony Hopkins and Nanette Newman

American Jennison Heaton won the first Olympic skeleton gold medal at St Moritz in 1928, beating his brother John, who took the silver

American Jennison Heaton won the first Olympic skeleton gold medal at St Moritz in 1928, beating his brother John, who took the silver. Jennison then won a silver in the five man bobsleigh in the same Games. John, meanwhile, won a bronze medal in the two man bob at Lake Placid in 1932 before claiming another silver in the skeleton, when the Olympics returned to St Moritz in 1948, at the age of 39. The Heaton Gold Cup remains one of the classic skeleton events of the St. Moritz "Cresta" season.

Charlotte Radcliffe, the great aunt of world marathon record holder Paula, was a swimmer who won an Olympic silver medal as a 17-year-old in the 4x100 metres freestyle relay at the 1920 Games in Antwerp

Charlotte Radcliffe, great aunt of world marathon record holder Paula, was a swimmer who won an Olympic silver medal competing for Britain as a 17-year-old in the 4x100 metres freestyle relay at the 1920 Games in Antwerp. Radcliffe the runner never won an Olympic medal despite competing in four consecutive Games - her best performance was fourth in the 10,000m at Sydney in 2000.

Johnny Weissmuller, the freestyle swimmer who won five Olympic gold medals in 1924 and 1928, will probably always be the one actor most associated with the Tarzan role

Johnny Weissmuller, the freestyle swimmer who won five Olympic gold medals in 1924 and 1928, will probably always be the actor most associated with the Tarzan role. But he was not the only former Olympian to wear Tarzan's loincloth. He was succeeded in the role by Buster Crabbe, the 1932 Los Angeles 400 metres freestyle gold medallist, before he left to become Flash Gordon. Herman Brix, the 1928 Olympic shot put silver medallist, followed him in the role, lasting two films before Glenn Morris, the 1936 Berlin decathlon champion, took over.


The only time in Olympic history an event has been held in two different countries was in 1920, when Antwerp hosted the Games, for the 12-foot dinghy event in sailing

The only time in Olympic history an event has been held in two different countries was in 1920, when Antwerp hosted the Games, for the 12-foot dinghy event in sailing. Early races were held in Ostend in Belgium but the second race had to be nullified because of technical problems. Organisers did not have time to restage the event and Belgian officials requested the Dutch Olympic Committee held them as both crews were from Holland. So the medal races took place at Buiten IJ in Amsterdam, where a team consisting of Cornelis Hin and his sons, Johan Hin and Fran Hin took the gold.

Japan's Osamu Watanabe won the freestyle wrestling gold medal at Tokyo 1964 in the featherweight division by going through the competition without conceding a point.

Japan's Osamu Watanabe won the freestyle wrestling gold medal at Tokyo 1964 in the featherweight division by going through the competition without conceding a point. His aggregate score was 186-0 and he spent only ten minutes on the mat during the entire competition. He retired after the Games, although still only 24, making him the only wrestler in the history of the Olympics to go throughout their career without conceding any points.

In the James Bond film Die Another Day, it is claimed the Miranda Frost character, played by Rosamund Pike, had won a gold medal in fencing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics by default

In the James Bond film Die Another Day, it is claimed the Miranda Frost character, played by Rosamund Pike, had won a gold medal in fencing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics by default. It supposedly came after Gustav Graves, the main villain of the film and the identity adopted by North Korean Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, had organised the real gold medalist's death by drug overdose. Frost was coached by Verity, played in the film by Madonna.

Soviet sailor Valentyn Mankin won an Olympic gold medal in the Finn class at Mexico City 1968.

Soviet sailor Valentyn Mankin won an Olympic gold medal in the Finn class at Mexico City 1968. Four years later, at Munich 1972, he claimed gold in the Tempest class with Vitaly Dyrdyra. At Montreal, in 1976, alongside new partner, Vladislav Akimenko, he took a silver. Four years later, in Moscow, he won gold in the Star class with Aleksandrs Muzichenko, making him the only sailor in history to win Olympic gold medals in three different classes.