Olympic Fun Facts – US edition
A couple of weeks ago, we published some fun facts about the Olympics. But did you know that the USA has a lot to be proud of when it comes to this global event? Here’s a US-only edition of Olympic fun facts.
- The USA has sent athletes to every Olympic Games except the boycotted 1980 games.
- We hold the record for the most medals won by a country at a single Winter Olympics. The US set the record at the Vancouver games with a total of 37 medals.
- Our first ever Olympian was Thomas Burke who won gold in both the 100 meters and the 400 meters in 1896.
- The total number of medals won by American athletes at the Summer Olympics is 2302 (source NBC).(though of course we’re hoping to add some more this year.)
- Most of our Summer Olympics medals are won in track and field and swimming.
- Most of America’s Winter Olympics medals have been won in speed skating and figure skating.
- America has hosted the Summer Olympics four times: St. Louis (1904); Los Angeles (1932 and 1984); and Atlanta (1996).
- America has also hosted the Winter Olympics four times: Lake Placid (1932 and 1980); Squaw Valley (1960); and Salt Lake City (2002).
- Janice-Lee Romary was the first woman to serve as flag bearer for the US in an Olympic Games (Mexico, 1968).
- She was also the first woman to compete in 6 Olympic Games, competing in individual foil in the games between 1948 and 1968.
- Walt Disney headed the organizing committee for the 1960 Winter games in Squaw Valley, California.
- The 1960 Summer Games were the first to be televised in the US, by CBS.
- Margaret Abbott, who won gold in women’s golf in 1900, didn’t realize she had won till much later. She thought she was taking part in a tournament for the World’s Fair which was taking place at the same time.
- In 1904 at the St Louis games, Fred Lorz appeared to have won the marathon. It later turned out that he had hitched a ride part of the way!
- Michael Phelps is the leading Olympian, having won 14 gold medals in swimming events; he has also won 2 bronze medals.
How many of these fun facts did you know?