Rio 2016

1. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece in 1896.

2. Rio de Janeiro is the first South American city to host the Olympic Games.

3. 10,500 athletes from 205 different countries will compete in 306 events in 42 different sports over 17 days.

4. Golf and rugby are returning to the Summer Games after 112 and 92 years, respectively.

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5. Gold medals today are made up of 93 percent silver, 6 percent copper, and 1 percent gold.

6. Former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best will compete this year in the 100 meters for St. Lucia.

7. Jim Thorpe was the first football player to compete in the Olympics, winning two gold medals at the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm, Sweden.

8. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium, which boasts the world record for the most fans ever to attend a soccer game: 173,000 during the 1950 World Cup final.

9. The United States has won the most medals in Summer Olympic history with 2403.

10. 60,000 meals will be prepared daily to feed the athletes. 

11. The Olympic Rings were designed by Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1912.

Nate ebner

12. New England Patriots safety Nate Ebner, pictured above, will compete in Rugby Sevens for the United States.

13. Medals made with pure gold were last awarded in 1912.

14. Basketball games at the 1936 Berlin Olympics were played on outdoor tennis courts made of clay and sand.

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15. Olympic drug testing debuted in 1968. The first Olympian to fail a drug test was Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall. He tested positive for a banned substance: two beers.

16. Budweiser has been an Olympic sponsor since the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

17. Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan holds the record for the most weight lifted in an Olympics with 418kg (921 lbs).

18. The 1992 Dream Team won every game by an average of 43.8 points. 

19. The Round Mound of Rebound Charles Barkley shot an astounding 71 percent from the field.

20. Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila became the first black African to win a gold medal, running the marathon barefoot at the 1960 Rome Games.

21. A shot put weighs 16 pounds for men, 8.8 pounds for women.

Sam mikulak
Getty Images

22. U.S. gymnast Sam Mikulak, pictured above, fractured both of his ankles a year before the London Olympics. He is part of the U.S. gymnastics team heading to the Rio Olympics.

23. Growing up, sprinter Justin Gatlin practiced hurdling by jumping over fire hydrants.

24. Tony Azevedo played professional water polo in Brazil, Croatia, Montenegro and Italy, and can speak all the respective languages of those countries.

25. Azevedo is the first U.S. water polo player to compete in five consecutive Olympics.

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26. The shortest Judo match in Olympic history is three seconds. 

27. Judo competitor Nick Delpopello was born in Serbia and Montenegro. He was adopted by a couple from New Jersey and began taking judo classes at age 5. 

28. Nick’s birth name was Petra Perovic, but was changed by his adopted parents.

29. Swimmer Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea saw an Olympic-sized pool for the first time when he competed at the 2000 Summer Games.

30. American wrestler Rulon Gardner was part of one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history when he beat three-time defending Olympic champion Alexander Karelin at the 2000 Sydney Games. Heading into the finals, the Russian hadn’t lost a Greco-Roman wrestling match in 13 years (and hadn’t given up a single point in the previous six).

31. In 1984, Mary Lou Retton, 16 at the time, became the first American — male or female — to win a gold medal in gymnastics. She received perfect 10s for her stunning performance on the vault.