I am a sports fanatic (although I draw the line at professional wrestling) and as such, I can’t wait for the kick off to the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
And that got me to thinking about what we could learn from all the data associated with the Olympics. So I did a little research and found the really terrific official Olympic site and I thought I’d share some of the more interesting Olympics factoids from that site and others with you.
Did you know that London will be the first city ever to have hosted three Olympics? The city was a last-minute choice in 1908, stepping in for Rome after Mount Vesuvius blew its top. Then London got the nod again in 1948 when Germany and Japan were banned after they lost World War II.
And here’s an infographic with some interesting Olympic info:
The cheapest tickets in Athens in 2004 were £43 ($67), more than double London 2012’s bargain price of £20.12 ($31) for certain events including the opening ceremony, according to The Telegraph in the UK. But at the other end of the spectrum the most expensive tickets to events at the 2004 Olympics in Athens cost a maximum of £833 ($1,298), much less than the $7,300 (£4,684) per person price tag (before taxes) to some of the events in London.
The UK Anti-Doping association has released figures on drug testing for athletes from 26 of the sports participating at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The statistics, complied by the World Anti-Doping Agency, include the number of samples tested in each sport for every year between 2003 and 2010, as well as the number of tests that indicate the use of a prohibited substance.
Between 2003 and 2008 the total number of samples taken across all sports increases from just over 100,000 to 166,185. In 2009 this figure falls slightly to 166,106, and the most recent total, taken in 2010, stands at 162,130 .
The worst offender of the 26 sports in terms of the rate of findings per sample (an average across all eight years) is cycling at 3.71%, with boxers a close second at 3.05%. Badminton has the lowest rate of usage-indication findings per sample, at 0.87%.
Although cycling has the highest average findings rate over the eight-year period, positive tests have declined since 2003. However, sailing and judo are among the sports where the positive findings have increased.
And finally, kind of a sad story about a man who came so close but didn’t get an Olympic medal.
When the Marathon frontrunner Dorando Pietri of Italy collapses as he enters the packed White Stadium in London, 1908, he’s helped to his feet by officials who guide him to the finish line. But he’s ultimately disqualified for receiving assistance. However, the event has such an impact that Queen Alexandra of Britain subsequently presents him with a silver cup to mark his courage and determination.
Pietri dies in 1942 at the age of 56 but the people in his homeland have never forgotten the courageous man. In 2008, one hundred years after that disastrous Olympics, the people in his hometown of Carpi erect a giant statue in his honor called Dorando the Winner.
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