The 2016 Rio Olympics marks the 31st Summer Games. The games may have changed, but the competition has remained fierce. Here are 15 fun facts to get you in the Olympic spirit!

  1. The very first Olympic games were held in Olympia in 776 and the first games of the modern era were held in Athens, Greece in 1896.
  2. The five Olympic rings represent the world’s major regions – the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceana.
  3. So far, the United States has won 2,189 medals in the Summer Games, more than any other country.
  4. The 2016 Summer Games are the first Olympic games to be held in South America. The city outbid Tokyo, Chicago, and Madrid in 2009. Most of the Olympic games have been hosted in the Americas and Europe, while Africa has never hosted an Olympics.
  5. There are 2,488 medals to be given out during the 2016 Olympics.
  6. Team USA is represented in 244 out of the 306 medal events.
  7. The 2016 U.S. Olympic team is composed of 554 members. There are 292 women and 262 men. In total, there are 10,500 Olympic athletes competing from over 200 countries.
  8. The youngest Olympic athlete in these games is 13, Gaurika Singh, a Nepalese swimmer.
  9. The oldest athlete is 61, Mary Hannah, an Australian equestrian.
  10. Team USA’s shortest member is gymnast Simone Biles at 4-feet and 8-inches tall. DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins, part of the men’s basketball team, are the tallest members at 6-feet and 11-inches tall.
  11. Team USA contains 33 athletes with family ties. 12 of them have parents who competed.
  12. There are 189 returning Olympians. 112 athletes have been twice, 50 have been three times, 17 Olympians are making their fourth appearance, seven have competed in the Olympics five times, and there are three six-time Olympic athletes!
  13. Michael Phelps is the most decorated male Olympian on the U.S. roster with 22 medals, 18 of them being gold. He continues to hold the world record for the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, and 400m individual medleys.
  14. Allyson Felix is the most decorated female Olympian on the team with six medals, four of them gold.
  15. There are two “new” sports in the 2016 Olympics. Rugby is returning after a 92 year hiatus and golf is back after 112 years.

Sources:

http://www.penn.museum/sites/olympics/olympicorigins.shtml

http://www.teamusa.org/Road-To-Rio-2016/Team-USA/Fun-Facts

https://www.olympic.org/

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