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Winter Olympics Fun Facts

Thursday, January 14, 2010 , Posted by Daisy at 9:53 PM


Know your medals: A collection of fun facts

Smallest golden nationLiechtenstein became the smallest nation to produce an Olympic gold when Hanni Wenzel won the slalom in 1980.  She also won the giant slalom event. 

Five-in-oneAmerican speed skater Eric Heiden holds the record for most gold medals in a Winter Olympics with five. He won every event he competed in during the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Medal rules Concrete regulations for the development of medals were first established in 1978. According to the Olympic Charter, the prize medals must be at least 60 millimeters in diameter and three millimeters thick. The gold and silver medals must be made of 92.5 percent pure silver, and the gold medal must be gilded with at least six grams of gold. The medals must bear the name of the sport concerned, attached in a removable fashion to a chain or ribbon, which may be hung around the neck of a competitor.
Bjorn Daehlie is the most decorated Winter Olympian of all-time.
Bjorn Daehlie is the most decorated Winter Olympian of all-time.

The Great One
Norwegian cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie has won 12 medals at the Winter Games, the most by any Winter Olympian.

Golden girl
Speed skater Bonnie Blair holds the American record for most Winter Olympic medals with six.

Before her time
During the 1920 Ladies' figure skating competition, American Theresa Weld (who won bronze) was warned by the judges for making jumps "unsuitable for a lady," because her skirt rose to her knees.

Home-ice advantage?
Switzerland, in 1928, became the only host country to fail to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Canada (1988), Yugoslavia (1984) and France (1924) join Switzerland as the only host countries to not win a gold during the Winter Games. 

No medals?
The 1900 Paris Games remains the only Olympics where no medals were awarded. Instead, winners were given valuable pieces of art.

Made of medal

Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who travels to Vancouver with nine Winter Olympic gold medals, has a chance to break the all-time record of 12, held by countryman, Bjorn Daehlie.

Golden boy

Short track speed skater Apolo Ohno has five Winter Olympic medals, tying him for most all-time for an American man. He can break away from Eric Heiden with a medal in Vancouver.

Winter four-peat?
No winter Olympian has ever won four gold medals in the same event.

The record for the most medals in a single Olympics is five, accomplished by eight different athletes. Most recently in 2006 by speed skater Cindy Klassen of Canada.
A 2010 Vancouver Olympic gold medal.
A 2010 Vancouver Olympic gold medal.

Heavy medal
The Vancouver Olympic medals are among the heaviest in the history of the Games. The medals are all of different weights, but the heaviest comes in at just over 20.3 ounces.

Worldwide winners
In total, 12 athletes have won Olympic medals while representing two distinctly different countries, although no athlete has done so in the Winter Games.

The youngest and the oldest
Kim Yun-Mi of South Korea, who at the age of 13 years and 83 days became the youngest gold medalist of all-time, was a member of the South Korean short track speed skating relay team that won the Women's 3000m relay at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. American bobsledder Jay O'Brien is the oldest gold medalist, winning the 1936 two-man event at the age of 48 years and 357 days.

Canada has the dubious distinction as being the only host of a Summer Olympics to not win a gold.   Sad but true.  So far we're two for two and hold the world record in that department.  Montreal in 1976 and Calgary in 1988.  Let's hope we break this curse in Vancouver.

  • The first Winter Olympic Games were held in Chamonix, France in 1924.

  • The five Olympic rings represent the five major regions of the world – Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceana, and every national flag in the world includes one of the five colors, which are (from left to right) blue, yellow, black, green, and red.

  • No country in the Southern Hemisphere has ever hosted a Winter Games.

  • Only four athletes have ever won medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games: Eddie Eagan (United States), Jacob Tullin Thams (Norway), Christa Luding-Rothenburger (East Germany), and Clara Hughes (Canada).

  • Ghana, Bahamas, Gabon and The Cayman Islands will make their Winter Olympic Debut in 2010.

  • The security budget for the events is said to be $900 million over five times higher than the original estimate.

  • The number of participating countries who are sending Olympic athletes to Vancouver 2010 will exceed 80.

  • The estimated total cost of the Vancouver Olympics 2010 is currently set at $1.76 Billion.

  • Because BC Place stadium is a stadium with a solid roof, it is the first time that the Olympic torch will be lit indoors.

  • The last Olympic gold medals that were made entirely out of gold were awarded in 1912.

  • The torch relay at the 2010 Winter Olympics is set to be the longest relay in Olympic history.

  • Vancouver is also the warmest city ever to host a Winter Olympics. In February, when the Games will be held, Vancouver has an average temperature of 4.8 degrees Celsius (40.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Vancouver will be the biggest city to ever host the Winter Olympic Games

  • Vancouver will become the host city with the lowest altitude because it is right by the sea


  • Because of its lower elevation, the Richmond Olympic Oval (above) will be the first time any Olympic venue has been exactly at sea level.


Currently have 1 comments:

  1. Cool post...I'm helping the US Speedskating team with social media, so of course I appreciated the speedskating trivia :) If you're interested in hearing what the speedskaters think of skating in the Richmond Olympic Oval, check out this YouTube video (around 6:20).

    Thank you!

    US Speedskating on Facebook

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