The Olympics are here! The XXXI Olympiad officially begins tonight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the Opening Ceremony broadcast on NBC.
To celebrate the start of the greatest show on the world’s stage, here are Five Fun Facts about the history of the Olympic Games, including some new local connections.
Stay tuned in the next two weeks for more fun Olympic coverage from Philly Happening!
1.) The Rio Olympics feature some local Olympians:
Miles Chamley-Watson, a London-native, who has lived in Philadelphia since he was 9
Matt Baranoski, 23, from Perkasie–Cycling; Jordan Burroughs, 28, from Sicklerville–Wrestling; English Gardner, 24, from Vorhees–Track & Field; Elena Delle Donne, 26, from Wilmington–Basketball; Miles Chamley-Watson, 26, originally from London, moved to Philadelphia at age 9–Fencing.
2.) The Kellys, of Kelly Drive, were famous Olympians:
The John. B. Kelly Sr. statue is displayed along Kelly Drive/ the Schuylkill River Trail
John B. Kelly Sr., a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and his son, Jack Jr., a three-time Olympian and Olympic bronze medalists, were natives of Philadelphia and are the namesakes of Kelly Drive, the road located across from the Schuylkill River, which is famous as a rowing venue. Academy Award winner and the former Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, is the daughter of Kelly Sr., and the sister of Jack Jr.
3.) The Olympic Torch Relay can be credited to Hitler:
Allegedly, the Olympic Torch Relay was created by Hitler when his country hosted the 1936 Games in Berlin. Through the traveling relay, Hitler wanted to show the world the impressive and expansive German countryside while promoting the Third Reich as an advanced world power.
Wilma Rudolph, the American Track & Field hero from the 1960 Games–the first broadcast on TV
4.) The First Olympics Broadcast on TV was in 1960 in Rome:
During the first televised Olympics, CBS captured the amazing feats of American Track & Field star, Wilma Rudolph, who won three gold medals. Rudolph, considered the fastest women in the world at the time, became a legend, having overcome childhood polio to accomplish her Olympic dreams.
5.) The Rio Olympics features new sports:
This Olympics will feature 28 sports, including Rugby Sevens and Golf, which were added by the International Olympic Committee in 2009. The sports will take place at 33 venues in the host city and five venues are in surrounding cities.