Special Series: Explosion from the Past – Fun Facts from the 1924, 1928 Olympics
With the Tokyo Olympics approaching, let’s take a look at interesting facts and trivia about the Games from previous editions. Here are some highlights and fun facts from the Olympic Games held in 1924 and 1928.
1924, Paris Olympics
*It was the second time that Paris hosted the Games, becoming the first city to host the Olympic Games twice.
*More than 3,000 athletes, including more than 100 women, represented a record 44 countries.
*The Games were attended by more than 1,000 journalists.
*The 1924 Paris Games introduced the closing ceremony ritual as we know it today, where three flags were raised: the flag of the International Olympic Committee, the flag of the host nation, and the flag of the next host nation.
*The Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) was first used at the Olympics.
*It was the first time that the athletes were housed in an Olympic village, a group of wooden huts.
*American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, known for playing the titular role of Tarzan in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932 version), won three golds at the Games.
*The marathon distance was set at 42,195 km.
*British runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won the 100m and 400m respectively. Liddell refused to participate in the 100m sprint because it was held on a Sunday and he was an observant Christian. Their stories were depicted in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
*The 1924 Paris Olympics were the first to use the standard 50m pool with marked lanes.
* Ireland first appeared as an independent nation at the Olympics.
1928, Olympic Games in Amsterdam
*The Olympic flame was first lit during the Olympic Games, a tradition that continues to this day. The fire was lit in a cauldron placed on top of a tower in the stadium
*Tennis was withdrawn from Olympic competition due to questions about the amateur status of many participants.
*For the first time, the parade of nations began with Greece, which is the origin of the Olympic Games, and ended with the host nation, a tradition that has continued ever since.
*The number of female participants has more than doubled as women were finally allowed to participate in gymnastics and athletics.
*The Indian men’s hockey team took its first-ever gold medal and embarked on a string of six consecutive golds in the sport.
*Asian athletes won gold medals for the first time.
*Australian rower Henry Pearce stopped midway through his quarterfinals to let a family of ducks pass, but still won the race and ultimately the gold medal.
*Germany re-joined the Games after a 16-year absence since the 1912 Games.
*Athletics events were held on a 400-meter track, which later became the standard for athletic tracks.
*The sponsor Coca-Cola first appeared at the Olympics.
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