Sports quiz: Weird Olympic facts

Too weird to be true or too weird to be false?

photo of the Olympic rings.
PHOTO: Bryan Turner / The Peak

By: Simran Sarai, Sports Writer

1.) True or false: The Tokyo 2020 Men’s High Jump competition had two winners take home gold medals instead of one. 

Answer: True. Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi both took home gold medals after completing matching jumps of 2.37 m. 

2.) What do the Olympic rings symbolize?

  1. A rainbow
  2. They’re just colourful circles
  3. Unity, peace, and the never-ending spirit of competition
  4. Five continents

Answer: d. Five continents. No, you’re not the only one who’s scratching their head. While there are now seven continents, the five rings symbolize what was considered the five continents in 1912: Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and the Americas. 

3.) Which Olympic games were the first to ensure women could compete in all sports, and had a woman competitor representing each nation? 

  1. 1956
  2. 2012
  3. 1998
  4. 2004

Answer: b. 2012. Only 11 years ago!

4.) What happened to Olympians who broke rules in ancient Greece? 

  1. They had to undertake corporal punishment 
  2. They were exiled from their homes 
  3. Bending the rules was encouraged and demonstrated intelligence 
  4. There were no rules to break

Answer: a. Corporal punishment. The ancient Greeks appointed “Alytes,” who were in charge of catching cheating athletes and giving out their punishments. Fines were even given out to competitors who withdrew from competitions.

5.) True or false: During the 2000 Olympics in Australia, 450,000 condoms were ordered for athletes.

Answer: False. 450,000 condoms is actually the number ordered by Brazilian officials for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In comparison, the Australians ordered a tame 90,000 condoms 16 years earlier.

6.) How much water is there in an Olympic-sized swimming pool? (Measured in bathtubs).

  1. 50,000 bathtubs
  2. 8,200 bathtubs
  3. 500 bathtubs
  4. 15,547 bathtubs

Answer: b. 8,200 bathtubs. Where would you even put 8,200 bathtubs?!

7.) True or false: McDonald’s ran out of hamburger buns during the 1984 LA Olympics after offering free meals each time a US athlete made the podium. 

Answer: True. This is probably the single most likely reason why the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac has increased 40% over the years. 

8.) Which of these items was adopted as a marketing scheme after being introduced during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia? 

  1. Mascots 
  2. Slogans 
  3. Inflatables 
  4. Spokespeople 

Answer: c. Inflatables. Yes, the same inflatables at car dealerships first appeared at the 1996 Olympics, and were inspired by the “loose” dancing style of the inventors’ country, Trinidad and Tobago.