16 Essential Olympic Games Statistics You Need to Know

Aussie Aussie Aussie…..So tomorrow night you are sitting around with your friends watching the Opening Ceremony;- this blog is to help you appear very smart with the essential things you need to know about the Olympics.

1) The Olympic motto is the Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.

2) A more informal but well known motto, also introduced by De Coubertin, is “The most important thing is not to win but to take part!” De Coubertin got this motto from a sermon by the Bishop of Pennsylvania during the 1908 London Games.

This reminds me of the quote – “Whoever said it’s not whether you win or lose that counts – probably lost.”  Love it.

3) The five Olympic rings represent the five continents involved in the Olympics and were designed in 1912, adopted in June 1914 and debuted at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics

I had heard that the colours of the rings represented all the colours of the flags of the Nations that compete – this is actually a myth.

Prior to 1951, the official handbook stated that each colour corresponded to a particular continent: blue for Europe, yellow for Asia, black for Africa, green for Oceania and red for America  (North and South considered as a single continent); this was removed because there was no evidence that Coubertin had intended it.

4) The modern tradition of moving the Olympic Flame via a relay system from Greece to the Olympic venue began with the Berlin Games in 1936. Months before the Games are held, the Olympic Flame is lit on a torch, with the rays of the Sun concentrated by a parabolic reflector,  at the site of the Ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece.

5) Larysa Latynina from Russia has won 18 medals in the sport of  Gymnastics – she holds the record for the most medals

6) Michael Phelps  from the USA has won 16 medals for swimming. He has the men’s record for the number of Olympic medals. (Here is a photo of Michael looking surprisingly like me when I take my shirt off.)

7) In London there are 302 Gold Medals on Offer.

8) Australia has 410 athletes competing in the London games.

  • 433 in Beijing.
  • 482 in Athens
  • 630 Australian Athletes competed in Sydney

9)  In terms of who is the overall winner of the Summer Olympics – USA is ranked first with 2116 medals overall

UK is second on 638 medals

France is third with 598

Australia is ranked 8th in the world with 350 medals

Given Australia has a population of only around 20 million people (ranked 53rd in the world –  I think that makes us champions of the world.

Just for the record – NZ is ranked 27th with 74 medals

There are 23 Countries on equal last having only one 1 medal ever.

As 200 countries compete – that means that there is about 80 countries who compete, but have never won an Olympic.

10) There are total of 9877 medals that have been given out at the Summer Olympics and that makes an average of 85 per country. That makes Australia well above average.

11) The Olympic medals awarded to winners are another symbol associated with the Olympic games. The medals are made of gold-plated silver (commonly described as gold medals), silver, or bronze, and awarded to the top 3 finishers in a particular event. Each medal for an Olympiad has a common design, decided upon by the organizers for the particular games. From 1928 until 2000, the obverse side of the medals contained an image of Nike, the traditional goddess of victory, holding a palm in her left hand and a winners crown in her right. This design was created by Giuseppe Cassioli. For each Olympic games, the reverse side as well as the labels for each Olympiad changed, reflecting the host of the games.

In 2004, the obverse side of the medals changed to make more explicit reference to the Greek character of the games. In this design, the goddess Nike flies into the Panathenic stadium, reflecting the renewal of the games. The design was by Greek jewelry designer Elena Votsi.


12) Five countries have been represented at all Summer Olympic Games – Greece, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, and Australia

13) Australia hosted the Summer games twice. In 1956 in Melbourne and in 2000 in Sydney finished 3rd and 4th in the respective medal counts.

14) Here is the schedule of where the games are going to be held next

  • 2012 Summer London
  • 2014 Winter Sochi Russia
  • 2016 Summer Rio de Janeiro
  • 2018 Winter Pyeongchang South Korea

15) Many of Australia’s gold medals have come in swimming, a sport which is popular in Australia, with swimmers from Dawn Fraser to Ian Thorpe ranking amongst the sport’s all-time greats. Other sports where Australia has historically been strong include:

  • field hockey, with the women’s team winning three gold medals between 1988 to 2000 and the men’s team winning in 2004;
  • cycling, particularly track cycling;
  • rowing;
  • equestrian events and specifically the three-day teams eventing;
  • and sailing.

16) My Most Memorable Moment – When Cathy Freeman won the 400 metres final at the Sydney Olympics

Go Australia!!!!!!!

If this Blog has been helpful or inspiring to you, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. Email Subscriptions to my blog are welcome or you can contact me through Facebook (facebook.com/peterpilt) or Twitter (@PeterPilt). Have a great day.

Categories: Australian, Current Affairs

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3 replies

  1. Thanks for that Pete, such a mine of information …you know you’re gonna have to take that shirt off don’t you…just saying!

  2. What is this fascination among pastors with shirt removal? First it was Grant Loewe then Paul Bartlett threated to get in on the act it and now you too (and they reckon we WOMEN are vain) you guys crack me up. lol

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