1. Before the introduction of mandatory drugs tests in 1967, most competitors, spectators, and umpires operated under the influence of hallucinogens. This may go some way to explaining why the winner of the 1908 100m sprint was noted down as ‘a massive vermillion caterpillar with the face of Julius Caesar’.
2. The Five Rings of the Olympic logo were originally thought to symbolise the five chemical states of matter; solid, liquid, gas, mush, and served chilled with a slice of lemon. This was proved incorrect in 1939, when an archaeologist found evidence that it was, in fact, the result of the outlines of the five coffee cups used by the first Olympic organisers.
3. Historically, Olympic athletes competed barefoot, and without expensive nylon and lycra uniforms. This is a tradition that Greece are thinking of resurrecting for the 2012 games.
4. At the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, silver medals were awarded to the winners and bronze medals to those who obtained second place. The judges denied the existence of any gold medals.
5. Discontinued Olympic events include tandem cycling, pistol duelling, and pass-the-parcel.