Just for Fun: Celebrate Tokyo 2020 With Olympic Facts & Name Labels For All Your Kit!
The Olympics are finally here so we’re celebrating with our favourite facts about the Olympic Games. We're also ready to help you get your kit set for an Olympic summer with our stick on name labels.
Olympic Facts About The Olympic Games
- Originally a religious and athletics festival in Olympia, Greece (8-4 BC) featuring foot races, wrestling, boxing, pankration, discus, long jump, pentathlon, horse races, and chariot races. Remaining records name the first champion as Koroibos/Coroebus, a Greek cook or baker.
- The festival was one of four “Panhellenic Games” honouring the gods. Olympic and Pythian Games fell every four years (two years apart like our Summer and Winter Games). Olympic Games honoured Zeus, while Pythian Games (in Delphi) honoured Apollo, god of music and arts, with sporting events alongside music, poetry, prose, drama, and painting competitions. Nemean and Isthmian Games fell every two years (between the other games). Nemea’s games honoured Zeus and Heracles, while Isthmia’s honoured Poseidon.
- The Olympics inspired many events worldwide, including our own:
- Cotswold Olimpick Games (1612-1852, 1963-); annual games in Chipping Campden featuring (original run) horse-racing, coursing, running, jumping, dancing, sledgehammer, sword fighting, cudgel fighting, quarterstaff, wrestling and (revival) tug of war, gymkhana, shin-kicking, dwile flonking, motorcycle scrambling, judo, piano smashing, and morris dancing.
- Wenlock Olympian Games (1859-); annual festival held in Shropshire.
- Grand Olympic Festival (1862-1867); annual festival held in Liverpool. The first modern Olympic programme was almost identical to these games.
- Modern Olympics began in 1896, at the restored Panathenaic Stadium in Athens (site of ancient games in 6 BC-3 AD). 241 athletes representing 14 nations participated in 43 events. At 2016’s Summer Olympics, 11,238 athletes representing 206 nations participated in 306 events. Only Greece has participated in every Summer Games as part of an official team.
- The Summer Games have been cancelled three times because of war (1916, 1940, 1944). Before 2020, no games had ever been delayed.
- Separate games were introduced for snow and ice sports in 1924, which resulted in Summer and Winter Games. During the 1948 London Olympics, Sir Ludwig Guttmann organised the Stoke Mandeville Games to promote the rehabilitation of WWII soldiers. He brought 400 athletes to the 1960 Olympics for "Parallel Olympics" (the first Paralympic Games). The Olympic Movement also includes Youth Games, Continental Games, and World Games.
- The Olympic programme contains sports, disciplines, and events. Sports can have multiple disciplines (Equestrian has three disciplines; Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping). Each sport and discipline can have multiple events (each Equestrian discipline has two events; “Team Competition” and “Individual Competition”).
- To become part of the Olympics, an activity must first be recognised by the International Olympic Committee as a sport (given International Sports Federation – IF – status). Adding (and removing) activities requires a two-thirds majority vote. Some sports with IF status have never featured in the Olympics, like chess.
- Tokyo’s Olympics involves 33 sports, 50 disciplines, and 339 events, including the return of Baseball/Softball and four new sports: Karate, Skateboarding, Sport Climbing, and Surfing.
- Olympic mascots have been around since 1972. The first was Waldi; a multicoloured dachshund representing resistance, tenacity, and agility (essential attributes for athletes). A real life dachshund called Cherie von Birkenhof served as the model for Waldi.
- Torch relays began in 1936. They begin at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, where a parabolic reflector focuses the sun’s rays to create the Olympic flame. Officials actually take multiple flames, just in case the torch goes out. The torch has two flames; a visible yellow flame and a hotter blue flame inside the torch for protection from the elements. Relays have included travel by boat, plane, horse, camel, and canoe; transmission by satellite (1976); trips into space (1996, 2000, 2013); and a visit the Great Barrier Reef (as an underwater flare) in 2000.
- In 1896, winners received an olive branch and a silver medal; runner ups received a laurel branch and a copper or bronze medal. The 1904 Olympics used pinned gold, silver, and bronze medals. In 1960, medals hung around the neck on laurel leaf chains, which were replaced by coloured ribbons in 1964.
- Now, medals are gold-plated silver (gold), silver (silver), or copper, zinc, and tin (bronze). Summer medals share a common design on one side; from 1928-2000, it depicted Nike (Greek goddess of Victory) holding a winner’s crown and palm in front of the (Roman!) Colosseum. Renewed for Athens’ 2004 Olympics, it now features Nike flying into the Panathenaic Stadium.
- Overall medal tables are tricky because some countries have participated under different designations. Under individual designations, the United States, Soviet Union, and Great Britain come top at Summer Olympics. When grouped under a single, current, designation the United States, Russia, and Germany come top (followed by Great Britain). At Winter Olympics, Norway (individual designations) and Germany (grouped designations) are the most successful nations.
- The United States has 2828 medals, including 1127 gold. Great Britain has 883 medals, including 274 gold. Of 206 currently participating nations, 71 have yet to win any medals.
Get Your Sporting Kit Ready For An Olympic Summer Of Sport With Stikins Name Labels
If the Olympics have got your family fired up for a summer of sport, you've probably got a mountain of kit to contain. There's a different kit for every sport and most kit is similar (if not identical) in appearance. These items disappear all too easily when taken into shared spaces and facilities like changing rooms. Stick on name labels are the perfect way to keep all your family’s gear safe and sound.
Our name labels are bright white name and printed with a bold, black font. This means they fit neatly (but discretely) onto gear of all shapes and sizes. They’re also really clear and easy to read when you need them. We make Stikins with a unique adhesive, which allows you to use our name labels on most items. This includes kit, clothing, and spares along with other gear like equipment, protective gear, and towels.
You simply need to stick your name labels onto each item you want to label. To label clothing and fabric items, apply your name labels onto the wash-care label. To label footwear, apply Stikins onto the side wall or beneath the tongue.
Stikins are available in four pack sizes of 30, 60, 90, or 120 name labels. You can order online or by phone. We print and post name labels Monday to Friday up to 3pm. This means we despatch all orders same or next working day. Standard delivery is free and uses Royal Mail’s first class service. You can upgrade to Royal Mail’s Special Delivery Guaranteed service (£6.30) to guarantee delivery by 4pm on the next working day.