04/08/2012 05:50 BST | Updated 04/08/2012 06:39 BST

10 Amazing Olympic Facts

While you're waiting to watch Team GB win another medal, amaze your friends with these amazing Olympic facts..

In the ancient Olympics trainers had to attend completely naked. Obviously a rather strange rule. Apparently it was to stop women trying to covertly enter the competitions. They were only allowed to be spectators in those days.

Have you been watching Ben Ainslie in the sailing and wondering what shape the course is? Well, sailing is the only event that has a triangular racecourse.

We all know that boxing is a tough sport, but in the old days it was really brutal. There were no rounds when it was introduced in the 23rd ancient Olympiad in 776BC - the fighters just went at it until one of them was knocked out, or conceded defeat.

Animal welfare was of no concern during the ancient Games - tethered doves were used as targets by the archers.

We tend to think that the carrying of the Olympic torch to the stadium is a tradition stretching back hundreds of years, but the spectacle first took place in Germany in 1936.

The 1936 Olympics was also the first time the event had been televised.

The oldest ever Olympic medal winner is the Swede Oscar Swahn, who won silver in a shooting event in 1920.


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The world's youngest ever Olympic medal winner, meanwhile, is Dimitrios Loundras, a 10-year-old Greek gymnast who won bronze in 1896.

The colours of the Olympic rings are not random. They are blue, red, yellow, black and green because at least one of them appears on the flag of every nation in the world.

Gold medals are actually mostly silver. They have been silver with gold plating for the past 100 years.

Sources: The Ultimate Book Of Useless Information by Noel Botham, published by John Blake, and

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