Olympics: Blast from past

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New Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI) With the Tokyo Olympics approaching, PTI takes a look at interesting facts and trivia about the Games from its previous editions.

Here are some highlights and fun facts from the Olympics Games held in 1924 and 1928.

1924, Paris Olympics ======================= *It was the second time Paris hosted the Games, becoming the first city to host the Olympics twice. *More than 3,000 athletes, including over 100 women, represented a record 44 countries.

*The Games were attended by over 1,000 journalists.

*The 1924 Paris Games introduced the closing ceremony ritual as we know it today, involving the raising of three flags -- the flag of the International Olympic Committee, the flag of the host nation and the flag of the next host nation.

*The Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) was used for the first time at the Olympics.

*It marked the first time that the athletes were accommodated in an Olympic Village, a group of wood cabins.

*American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, known for playing the titular role of Tarzan in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932 version), won three golds at the Games.

*The marathon distance was fixed at 42.195 km.

*British runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won the 100 m and the 400 m events, respectively. Liddell refused to compete in the 100-meter dash because it was held on a Sunday and he was an observant Christian. Their stories were depicted in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire.

*The 1924 Paris Olympics were the first to use the standard 50 m pool with marked lanes.

*Ireland made its first appearance in the Olympic Games as an independent nation.

1928, Amsterdam Olympics ======================= *The Olympic Flame was lit for the first time for the duration of the Olympics, a tradition that continues to this day. The fire was lit in a cauldron that was placed at the top of a tower in the stadium *Tennis was dropped from Olympic competition because of questions over the amateur standing of many participants.

*For the first time, the parade of nations started with Greece, which holds the origins of the Olympics, and ended with the host country, a tradition which has also continued ever since.

*The number of female competitors more than doubled, as women were finally allowed to compete in gymnastics and athletics.

*The Indian men's hockey team took its first-ever gold medal, beginning a streak of six consecutive gold medals in the sport.

*Asian athletes won gold medals for the first time.

*Australian rower Henry Pearce stopped midway through his quarter-final to let a family of ducks pass, but still went on to win the race and eventually the gold medal.

*Germany participated in the Games once again after 16 years of absence since the 1912 Games.

*Athletics events were held on a 400-meter track, later becoming the standard for athletics tracks.

*The sponsor Coca-Cola made its first appearance at the Olympic Games. PTI APA BS BS

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