The best athletes from around the world gathering in one place to perform incredible feats in the name of their country? Sign us up. There are a bevy of interesting Olympics facts and figures, but we’re going to round up a few of our favourites to give you some juicy trivia. You can use it to impress your friends, score points on the pub quiz or just be smug in the knowledge that you’re a little bit more informed on matters than the average Olympics spectator.


No women took part in the inaugural Olympic games of the modern era. However, there were a few women who competed in Paris 1900. They only made up 2.2% of total athletes, but those 22 women paved the way for things to come. Things are slowly improving for women in the games, although even now there are over 30 events that cannot be contested by women. However, the 2020 opening ceremony for the first time sees both a man and a woman acting as flag bearer for each competing nation.


The first time the games were held in the modern era, in 1896, just 14 countries took part. In contrast, 205 countries are on the list for the 2020 games. Interest in the Olympics has clearly grown a lot since the late 19th century!


The most decorated Olympian of all time is Michael Phelps. The United States swimmer scored 28 medals in a 12-year run in the Olympics, making him far and away the most successful and one of the most interesting Olympics participants ever.


In total, there have been 51 Olympic Games held in the modern era. That’s made up of 28 Summer Olympic Games and 23 Winter Olympic Games. Over the years, three summer games and two winter games have been cancelled (all due to either the First or Second World War). However, the only Olympics to be postponed is Tokyo 2020.


Every single athlete taking part in the Olympic games want to feel 556g heavier by the end of their event. That’s because the gold medal weighs in at 556g. However, that’s not all gold. It’s made up of 550g of sterling silver, plated with approximately 6g of gold.


The first time the Olympic games were ever recorded was in 776 B.C. Yes, that’s a looooong time ago. However, historians reckon that was far from the first one. In fact, boffins think that the first games were held in Ancient Greece some 500 years before that point.


As many of us know, Tokyo 2020 had to be postponed and held instead in 2021. But did they change the name to Tokyo 2021? No. These interesting Olympics  games will forever be known as Tokyo 2021, despite being held from 23 July through to 8 August on 2021. Then the 2024 games will continue as planned in that year and will be held in Paris, followed by Los Angeles in 2028.


A breathtaking 11,238 athletes took part in Rio 2016 across 306 events. These athletes represented some 207 nations, showcasing truly astonishing talent across their disciplines.

And one final interesting Olympics number… 365

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