Fact of the Day
Johnny Weissmuller, the freestyle swimmer who won five Olympic gold medals in 1924 and 1928, will probably always be the actor most associated with the Tarzan role. But he was not the only former Olympian to wear Tarzan's loincloth. He was succeeded in the role by Buster Crabbe, the 1932 Los Angeles 400 metres freestyle gold medallist, before he left to become Flash Gordon. Herman Brix, the 1928 Olympic shot put silver medallist, followed him in the role, lasting two films before Glenn Morris, the 1936 Berlin decathlon champion, took over.
Baseball was voted out of the programme for London 2012 at the IOC Session in Singapore on July 7, 2005, becoming the first sport to be voted out of the Olympics since polo was withdrawn from Berlin 1936.
The only time in Olympic history an event has been held in two different countries was in 1920, when Antwerp hosted the Games, for the 12-foot dinghy event in sailing. Early races were held in Ostend in Belgium but the second race had to be nullified because of technical problems. Organisers did not have time to restage the event and Belgian officials requested the Dutch Olympic Committee held them as both crews were from Holland. So the medal races took place at Buiten IJ in Amsterdam, where a team consisting of Cornelis Hin and his sons, Johan Hin and Fran Hin took the gold.
Japan's Osamu Watanabe won the freestyle wrestling gold medal at Tokyo 1964 in the featherweight division by going through the competition without conceding a point. His aggregate score was 186-0 and he spent only ten minutes on the mat during the entire competition. He retired after the Games, although still only 24, making him the only wrestler in the history of the Olympics to go throughout their career without conceding any points.
In the James Bond film Die Another Day, it is claimed the Miranda Frost character, played by Rosamund Pike, had won a gold medal in fencing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics by default. It supposedly came after Gustav Graves, the main villain of the film and the identity adopted by North Korean Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, had organised the real gold medalist's death by drug overdose. Frost was coached by Verity, played in the film by Madonna.
Soviet sailor Valentyn Mankin won an Olympic gold medal in the Finn class at Mexico City 1968. Four years later, at Munich 1972, he claimed gold in the Tempest class with Vitaly Dyrdyra. At Montreal, in 1976, alongside new partner, Vladislav Akimenko, he took a silver. Four years later, in Moscow, he won gold in the Star class with Aleksandrs Muzichenko, making him the only sailor in history to win Olympic gold medals in three different classes.
Monaco made its Olympic debut at Antwerp in 1920 but the only medal they have ever won was Julien Médecin, a bronze for architecture at Paris in 1924, which are not included in the official tally. He received his medal for his design of the Stadium for Monte Carlo. No gold medal was awarded but the silver was given to Hungary's Alfréd Hajós and Dezső Lauber, also for a stadium design.
In 1986 the International Olympic Committee changed its Charter to allow "all the world's great male and female athletes to participate" and dropped the rule that they must be amateur. The change paved the way for professional competitors, like Germany's Steffi Graf and Sweden's Stefan Edberg, to take part at Seoul 1988 when tennis returned to the Olympic programme after a 64-year absence.
For the 1924 Olympics in Paris, the distance of the marathon was fixed at 42.195 kilometres, the same run at London 1908 when organisers chose a course that started at Windsor Castle and extended to include lap of the track at the White City Stadium, finishing in front of the Royal Box. Finland's Albin Stenroos went on to take the gold medal in the event at Paris, 12 years after winning a silver in the team cross country and bronze in the 10,000 metres at Stockholm 1912.
Viggo Jensen was Denmark's first Olympic champion, winning a gold medal in the two hand lift weightlifting division at the inaugural Games at Athens in 1896. He then won silver in the one hand lift, having been injured when winning the earlier event. A few days later, he claimed a bronze in the free rifle shooting event. If that was not enough, talented all-rounder Jensen also finished fourth in both the shot put and the rope climbing event.
Otto Herschmann won a silver medal as a member of Austria's fencing team in the sabre event at Stockholm 1912. At the time Herschmann was also President of the Austrian Olympic Committee, He remains the only sitting National Olympic Committee President to win a medal at the Olympics. It was Herschman's second Olympic medal, having also won a silver in the 100 metres freestyle at Athens in 1896.
Gliding was due to become an Olympic sport at Helsinki in 1940 having been a demonstration event at Berlin in 1936, despite a competitor having been killed in practice the day before the comeptition. But the Games in the Finnish capital were cancelled because of the Second World War and gliding has never come close since to being included on the Olympic programme.
The Lopez family made history at Beijing 2008, becoming the first three siblings since St Louis 1904 to make the same Olympic team, and the first three siblings in history to win medals at the same Games when they all stood on the podium in taekwondo. Mark took the silver medal and Steven and Diana both won bronze. Overall, the Lopez family has won five medals as Steven took gold at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.
Up until 1991, Australia minted one-cent and two-cent bronze coins, but these were withdrawn from general circulation in 1992. The coins were then melted down and turned into bronze medals, which were presented at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Hungary's Alfred Hajos, a double swimming gold medallist at Athens 1896, won a silver medal in the architectural division of the art contest at Paris 1924. Specialising in sports facilities, Hajos's architectural partner was Dezso Lauber, who had represented Hungary at tennis at the 1908 Olympics in London. The jury did not award a gold medal in the competition. The best known sports facility designed by Hajós is the swimming stadium built on Margitsziget in the Danube in Budapest, which was built in 1930, and used for the 1958, 2006 and 2010 European Aquatics Championships.