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Olympics Trivia

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At the 1952 Olympic Games, Russian gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya won an overall record seven medals.

At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Tom Malchow was the youngest member of the U.S. men's swim team at age 19. Malchow was humorously nicknamed ”Puppy Chow” by his older teammates. Four years later, at the Olympics in Sydney, he was the 200-meter butterfly gold medallist. Malchow's time of 1:55.35 was the third-fastest performance ever. His nickname changed to “Top Dog” and "Big Dog."

Australian swimmer Murray Rose won six Olympic medals and was the first man to swim the 1,500-metre freestyle in less than 18 minutes. He won national titles in three countries: the United States, Canada, and Australia. At age 17 in 1956, Rose became the youngest Olympian to win three gold medals during one Olympics.

Because of the outbreak of major world wars, the modern Olympics did not hold competitions in 1916, 1940, and 1944.

Boston-native figure skater Tenley Albright was the first American woman to win an Olympic figure-skating gold medal. In 1952, Albright placed second in women's figure skating at the Olympic Games. She was the U.S. national championship from 1952 to 1956. In 1953, Albright became the first American woman to win the world championship title. She won the title again in 1955. At the 1956 Olympics, Albright won the gold medal in women's figure skating. She was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1988. After retiring, Albright became a surgeon.

Canada's first Olympic gold medal was won by a man competing for the United States. George Orton of Strathroy, Ontario, took first place in the steeplechase at the 1900 Olympics in Paris, but because Canada didn't have an official team, he entered as part of the American team instead.

Childhood ice figure-skating partners JoJo Starbuck and Ken Shelley made skating history when, in 1968, they were the youngest pairs team America had ever sent to the Olympic Games.

For its Olympic athletes who bring home a gold, silver, or bronze medal, the Philippines pays handsome sums of money. However, none have won in decades.

In 1896, only first- and second-place finishers of the Olympics were awarded medals. The winners received silver medals and crowns of olive branches, while second-place finishers received bronze medals.

In 1912 in Stockholm, the first electric timing devices and public address system was used at the Olympics.

In 648 B.C., horses were first introduced into sports with the entrance of riders in the Olympic Games. By the sixth century B.C., horse-racing had become a popular sport.

In the opening procession of the Olympics, the team representing the host nation always marches last.

Iranian women competed in the Olympics for the first time at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The women were limited in the events in which they were allowed to participate, so they would not violate their country's restrictive laws regarding women's clothing.

Izzy, the Olympic Games mascot in 1996, was almost universally regarded by marketing experts as a dud. The blue Olympic mascot, with its bulging eyes and dangling feet, was a poor seller for many licensed goods makers.

James Brendan Connolly of the United States won the first medal of the 1896 Olympic Games in the triple jump.

Korea marched under a single flag at the 27th Olympiad at Sydney, Australia, the first time in Olympic history, to a jubilant standing ovation. Despite such a display of unity, the two countries were technically still at war; in fact, North Korea had boycotted the Games when Seoul, South Korea, hosted the summer games in 1988.

London has hosted the Olympic Summer Games twice (1908, 1948), as has Los Angeles (1932, 1984).

Mark Spitz holds the all-time Olympic record for men's swimming events. At two Olympics (1968 and 1972), Spitz won a total of 11 medals and is tied as of 2000 with Matt Biondi (1984, 1988, 1992); has the most gold medals at 9 (tied again with Biondi); has the most gold medals at one Olympiad at 7 (Biondi trails at 5), and has the most total medals in one Olympiad (tied with Biondi).

Micronesia made its Olympic Games debut at Sydney, Australia, in September 2000.

Norway has won more total medals at the Winter Olympic Games than any other nation.

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