Did you know that the first Winter Olympic Games were not held until 1924? I had no idea. Or that Norway is the country that has won the most medals at the Winter Games (263 in total)? As I did some digging, I found quite a few fun facts:
- In the first modern Olympics, Athens 1896, first place winners were awarded silver medals and olive branches. Second place contestants were awarded bronze medals and third place finishers left empty handed.
- First place winners in the 1900 Paris Olympics received paintings instead of gold medals because they were considered to be more valuable.
- The first Olympic city to award Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals was St. Louis in 1904.
- A record 202 countries participated in the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens.
- Three continents – Africa, South America, and Antarctica – have never hosted an Olympics.
- The United States has won more medals (2,189) at the Summer Games than any other country.
- China did not win a medal until 1984. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics alone, they received 100 medals including 51 gold.
Would you rather receive a painting or a gold medal for your first place finish?