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Interesting facts from Olympics

india Updated: Aug 20, 2008 01:04 IST

Agencies
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Frenchman Alain Mimoun was just one month short of his 36th birthday when he won the marathon in 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, making him the oldest in Olympic history to win the event. It was the first time the marathon saw a false start.
Danish cyclist, Knut Jensen, collapsed and died during the 1960 Rome Olympics. It was later revealed that drug overdose led to his death.
Maria Isabel Urrutia won Colombia's its first-ever gold when she won the women's 75 kg weightlifting event at Sydney 2000.
Antonio Rebollo, a paraplegic archer, lit the Olympic flame at the Barcelona Games in 1992.
The Soviet Union, now known as the Commonwealth of Independent States or Unified Team made its last appearance at Barcelona in 1992.
The 1920 12-foot dinghy sailing event was the only event in Olympic history to be held in two countries. The first race was staged in Belgium while the last two races were held in the Netherlands.
The word "gymnasium" comes from the Greek word gymnos, which means naked. In ancient times athletes practised in the nude to the accompaniment of music. They also performed naked at the Olympic Games. Women were not allowed to participate or even to attend as spectators.
The first Olympic games were held in 776BC - and then every 4 years until 339BC. The first Olympic race was won by Corubus, a chef.
White mice will be used to test athletes' food at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to make sure it is not poisoned.
Running barefoot, Bikila of Ethiopia won the marathon at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Despite undergoing an appendectomy just over a month before the race, Bikila returned to win the marathon at the Tokyo Games in 1964 in a world record time, this time with shoes and socks.
There has been a surge of marriage applications in Russia on Aug 8th for good luck. China too will be opening its Olympics on August 8 at 08.08pm on the same day to benefit from the same.
There are five Olympic Mascots for Beijing 2008: Beibei (blue Fish), Jingjing (black Panda), Huanhuan (red Flame), Yingying (yellow Antelope) and Nini (green Swallow). Their five names together - "Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni" - translates as 'Welcome to Beijing'.
Cashing in on the tourist inflow in Beijing during the Olympics, India has planned a month-long Incredible India campaign, showcasing the country's rich heritage and culture, which will be highlighted in crucial subways and junctions of the Chinese capital.
When Australia won the right to host the Olympics in 2,000 it forced the homeless and poor out of Sydney, so rich overseas tourists would not have to look on poor people, and to hide from the world Australia's shocking homeless problem. Similarly the Chinese government displaced 1.5 million people - leaving most of them homeless and removing many "by force" - in order to mow down neighborhoods and build new facilities for the games.
The Olympic mascot is an animal or human figure that represents the cultural heritage of the host nation.