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13 Olympic Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Olympic Divers
Adam Pretty, Getty Images

If you don’t have Olympic fever yet, fret not. We’re here to help with a list of our 10 favorite facts about the games that you never knew.

1. The US has won the most medals of any country at the Summer Olympics, with a whopping total of 2,189 medals.

2. London is the first city to host the Olympics more than twice. The games were previously hosted in the British capital city in 1908 and 1948. Meanwhile, three entire continents — Africa, South America, and Antarctica — have never hosted an Olympics.

3. Any streakers caught at the 2012 Games will be fined up to $31,000!

4. Ever wondered what those five rings on the Olympic flag represent? Each ring is said to stand for one of the five continents significant to the human world. The colors of the rings were also chosen carefully. At least one of the five — blue, yellow, black, green, and red- is contained in the national flag of every country in the world.

5. The early Olympic games were celebrated as a religious festival from 776 BC until 393 AD.

6. Do the Olympics make you want to hit the gym? Gymnasium literally means “school for naked exercise,” coming from the Greek word gymnós, which translates as “naked.”

7.  The games were abandoned during both the First and Second World Wars. This meant that the 1916 Summer Olympics never took place, nor did the Winter and Summer Olympics in 1940 and 1944.

8. Before the Games in ancient Greece athletes ate mostly cheese!

9. The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius.” That’s Latin for means “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

10. Gold medals for the 2012 Olympics weigh between 13 and 14 ounces, but are only 1.34% gold, 92.5% silver, and the rest is copper. The image on the Olympic medals is always the same: the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, stepping out of the depiction of the Parthenon to arrive in the Host City.

11. The cost of the 2012 Olympics Games is a hot topic of speculation. According to a recent Sky Sports investigation, the price has sky rocketed from the original forecast of $3.7 billion in 2005 to a staggering $37 billion when you include public transportation upgrade costs. Most of the money is spent on security, venues and transportation. The official government budget remains $15 billion.

12. According to their prime minister’s calculations, the Olympic Games are likely to generate an extra $20 billion for the UK economy over the next four years, which includes $3.5 billion of spending from extra tourism.

13. The Games are expected to attract as many as 900,000 visitors to the capital. With two million more tickets being sold for the Olympics in London, the city can expect a much bigger increase in visitors than the previous 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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