YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=0lhb-rhzE_A
Previous: Why are there 24 hours in a day? - Big Questions - (Ep. 223)
Next: 46 Odd and Surprising Stats and Figures - mental_floss List Show Ep. 433

Categories

Statistics

View count:167,485
Likes:2,547
Dislikes:44
Comments:308
Duration:10:39
Uploaded:2016-08-10
Last sync:2018-11-24 19:20
A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John shares even more great facts about the Olympic Games!

Subscribe for new episodes of mental_floss every Wednesday!

----

WE'RE ON SNAPCHAT! Username: mental.floss
Mental Floss Video on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mf_video

----
Website: http://www.mentalfloss.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mental_floss
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mentalflossmagazine
Store: http://store.mentalfloss.com/ (enter promo code: "YoutubeFlossers" for 15% off!)
Hi, I'm John Green, welcome to my salon, this is mental_floss video.

1. It took Shizo Kanakuri almost 55 years to finish his marathon
And did you know that an Olympian once ran the marathon in 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes, and 20.3 seconds? That was Japanese runner Shizo Kanakuri's time from the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. What happened was that he ran most of the race, then passed out. He was embarrassed, and just went home to Japan without telling anyone. He was then officially "missing" in Sweden for 50 years, and when they found him, they invited him back to finish the race, and he accepted. By the way, still significantly better than my best marathon time - anyway, that's the first of many facts about the Olympics I'm going to share with you today in honor of the Summer Olympics in Rio this year.

(opening credits)

2. John Boland won the first Olympic tennis tournament
During the 1896 Olympics, the first modern ones, a man named John Boland won the singles tennis tournament. His friend, who was on the Olympic committee, signed him up. Boland wasn't an Olympic athlete at all, but he decided to play anyway, and he won the Gold! It must be said that partly speaks to the quality of late-19th-century tennis, but anyway -

3. Usain Bolt was fueled by McNuggets at the 2008 games 
In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, famous Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt ate 100 chicken McNuggets a day for ten days in a row. He preferred them to all the other food options in Beijing, so he ate them for most meals.

4. In 1960, Constantine II, the crown Prince of Greece at the time, won the gold medal for sailing when he was 20, and that was a big deal too, because Greece hadn't won a gold medal since 1912!

5. There was one year that two U.S. men's hockey teams actually showed up to the same Olympics. It was 1948, and the American Hockey Association sent a team to the St. Moritz Olympics, and so did the Amateur Athletic Union. In the end, the professional players were allowed to play, but not allowed to medal; the amateurs weren't allowed to play at all, instead they watched the game and booed.

6. Beginning in 1992, Australia removed its one-cent coins from circulation because pennies do not facilitate the exchange of goods and services, which is what money is supposed to do? Which slightly off-topic, is why pennies shouldn't exist, and when countries remove them from circulation, nothing bad happens. In fact, something good happened when Australia did it - when Sydney hosted the Olympics in 2000, the bronze medals were made from melted-down one-cent coins.

7. During the 1988 Olympics, Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux was racing when he heard the screams of two sailors from Singapore. They'd been competing in a different event, and their boat had capsized; Lemieux rescued them, abandoning the race for which he probably would have won a silver medal. The Olympic committee ended up giving him the medal for sportsmanship.

8. Another hero from the 1988 Olympics: Eddie Edwards - real name Michael. He was a British ski jumper who came in last for both the 70-meter and the 90-meter jumps, but watching him lose was incredibly enjoyable. People gave him the nicknames "Eddie the Eagle" and "Mr. Magoo". He released a hit song in Finnish, a language he didn't speak, and recently, a Hollywood movie was made of his story.

9. You've probably heard of the famous American sprinter and long-jumper Jesse Owens. He won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which was a huge deal, since that was the year Hitler was trying to show Nazi superiority to the world. But you may not know that after his triumphs in Berlin, he didn't get invited to the White House, or even get sent a telegram!

10. Basketball was another sport of the 1936 Olympics, and for some reason, the event took place outdoors on a dirt court, which would have been bad enough, but then it started to rain, which made dribbling essentially impossible. In the finals, the United States beat Canada, 19-8. In basketball!

11. In the 2012 opening ceremony in London, the events organizers reached out to the managers of The Who to ask if Keith Moon would be willing to play with the band, but he had been dead for 34 years.

12. There have been some crazy Olympic events over the years, like back in 1928, there was an Olympic event in which skiers raced as they were pulled by horses.

13. There are many gold medalists who no longer have their gold medals, like Anthony Ervin, who won gold in 2000 for swimming the 50-meter freestyle, sold his medal on eBay four years later for $17,101. Which he then donated to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

14. And then there are the people who never got their medals in the first place, like the 1972 U.S. men's basketball team refused to accept their silver medals after losing 51-50 to the Soviet Union. They were protesting the referee's decision to take advice from the Secretary of the International Amateur Basketball Federation, who insisted that the Soviet Union be given a time-out and an extra three seconds on the clock, which was how they got the game-winning shot in. We can't show you the tape, because copyright, but boy, was the fix i! We got them back, though, by winning the Cold War.

15. By the way, just because you don't medal doesn't mean you're going to walk away empty-handed. The first eight people to place in any given event receive diplomas from the International Olympic Committee. So that's something. "You know, before you were ever born, little boy, I was in the Olympics." "Did you win a medal, Daddy?" "No, but I got a diploma!"

16. There was an awkward moment in the 1936 Olympics, when citizens of Liechtenstein and Haiti realized that their countries had identical flags, so the next year, Liechtenstein added a crown.

17. Before playing Tarzan in 12 movies starting in 1932, Johnny Weissmuller won 5 Olympic gold medals in swimming for the United States. So I don't cast movies or anything, but if you want to reinvigorate that Tarzan franchise, maybe call Ryan Lochte?

18. Speaking of actors, Jason Statham never made it to the Olympics, but he did take part in many Olympic trials as a diver before he switched careers.

19. You may know that in 1988, the Jamaican bobsled team made it to the Olympics, because you probably have seen the Disney movie Cool Runnings. But the movie has you believe that the team were sprinters when, in fact, they were members of the Jamaican army. Sadly, their four-man bobsled crashed, but Jamaica still sends bobsledders to the Olympics!

20. And speaking of sleds, in 1968 the East German women's luge team was disqualified after competing and winning gold, because it turned out they had heated their sleds before the race. There's just so many ways to cheat, it's very hard to resist their urge!

21. Another interesting controversy during the 1968 Olympics, it's the first time a drug test failure occurred for the Games. Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunner Liljenwall got disqualified and had to give up his bronze medal, and because it was a team competition, the entire team got their medals revoked. And the worst part is, all he did was drink two beers before the pistol shoot!

22. Only one person has won gold in both winter and summer Olympic games - American Eddie Eagan, he won for light heavyweight boxing in 1920, and then he joined the four-men bobsled team in 1932 and won gold again.

23. The athlete with the most Olympic medals is of course American swimmer Michael Phelps, who has a total of 22 medals from three separate Olympic games. Larisa Latynina, a gymnast from the Soviet Union, is a close second, with a total of 18 medals.

24. And the youngest person ever to win a gold medal was a diver from the United States, Marjorie Gestring. She was 13 when she took home the gold in 1936, for 3-meter springboard diving.

25. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, swimming Eric Moussambani from Equatorial Guinea was a wild card athlete, meaning that he was allowed to compete without qualifying, because he was from a developing nation. He never swam in an Olympic-sized pool in his life before the actual competition, which was the 100-meter freestyle.

26. Years before the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, a law was passed in the U.K. banning businesses that were not official sponsors from using the Olympics for marketing. But this included anything of the following terms used together in advertising: Games, 2012, London, Medals, Summer, Gold, and more. The fine was up to £20,000. So if you weren't an official Olympic sponsor, you couldn't make an ad saying, "You know what's fun? Summer in London!"

27. There's a high jump style called the Fosbury Flop. It's basically when a high-jumper leans away from the bar while clearing it. And it got its weird name from the guy who invented it, Dick Fosbury. He made waves during the 1968 Summer Olympics when he won gold using the technique.

28. The furthest the Olympic torch has ever traveled before the Olympics is 40,300 miles. That happened before the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

29. And speaking of Sochi, that event cost about $50 billion, making it the most expensive Olympics ever. They went about four times over the original proposed budget.

30. But it's not rare for the Olympics to go way over budget, like the 1980 Lake Placid games, for instance, cost over 320% of the original budget.

31. And for the 2012 Olympics, 200 buildings in London had to be demolished in order to make room for the Olympic Park.

32. And then, of course, there is the question of what to do with the buildings that need to be put up for Olympic events. One of the famous repurposed buildings is the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, which went from a martial arts venue in the 1964 Olympics to a famous concert venue. The Beatles and Bob Dylan both played there. But it doesn't always work out that well, and often, former Olympic hosting sites become urban ruins.

33. Which may be part of the reason why a lot of cities said "No" to hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics. The citizens of many cities voted against having their home towns considered, including Krakow, Poland; Oslo, Norway; Munich, Germany. St. Moritz, Switzerland also said no, despite having hosted the Winter Olympics twice.

34. As for 2024, the Pope hopes the Summer Olympics are in Rome. In 2014, Pope Francis met with the Italian Olympic Committee. He told them, "Best wishes for Rome's wishes to host the 2024 Olympic Games. I won't be around." Come on, Pope Francis! In 2024, you'll only be 87! 87 is the new 65!

35. Okay, let's finish up with some facts about this year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In 2009, the Olympic committee announced that Rio would host the 2016 Summer Olympics; the other cities in the running were Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid.

36. In order the prepare the city for the Olympics, 43 miles of road were built and 15,000 trees were planted.

37. This year, South Sudan will compete, making it the newest compete in the 2016 Olympics.

38. And two sports will make a comeback this year: golf is going to be an Olympic sport, which it hasn't been since 1904, and rugby will be played for the first time since 1924.

39. And finally, I return to my salon to tell you that in this year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, there will be 28 different sports, athletes from 135 countries, and a total of 306 events.

So let's all hope for a fun, safe Olympics where nobody drinks a couple beers before shooting their pistols.

Thank you for watching mental_floss video, which is made with the help of all of these lovely people. Let us know what sports you're looking forward to watching in the Olympics this summer, and we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.