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9 things you didn't know about the Olympics

With the London Olympic games fast approaching, why not brush up on some fun facts about this ancient tradition?

By Cassandre Cadieux

9 things you didn't know about the Olympics

9 things you didn't know about the Olympics

London 2012

The summer Olympics are coming to London beginning Friday, July 27, 2012 and running through August 12, 2012. Here are some fun, kid-friendly facts about the tradition of the Olympic games that you probably didn't know. 

Photo by Andrea Vascellari via Flickr

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: Andrea Vascellari/Flickr

Olympic rings

Did you know that the five Olympic rings represent the five major regions of the world — Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceana, and every national flag in the world includes one of the five colors?

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9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: cmannphoto/iStockphoto

Olympics

Did you know that the first time the Olympics were in London, in 1908, the games lasted 187 days, starting in April and ending in October?

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Photo by grahamc99 via Flickr

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: grahamc99/Flickr

The young and the wise

Did you know that the youngest Olympian ever was a 10-year-old gymnast by the name of Dimitrios Loundas in 1896? And the oldest Olympian? A 72-year-old man named Oscar Swahn who competed in shooting in 1920. 

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Photo by Roberto Berlim via Flickr

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: Roberto Berlim/Flickr

Tug of war

Did you know that tug of war was an official sport in the Olympic games from 1900-1920?

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Photo by toffehoff via Flickr

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: toffehoff/Flickr

Who needs shoes?

Did you know that Abebe Bikila of Ethopia won the marathon in the 1960 Rome Olympics (in a record time of 2hrs 15mins and 16.2 seconds) bare footed?

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9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: cozyta/iStockphoto

Olympic gold

Did you know that Olympic gold medals are actually made mostly of silver? They are actually just covered with a very thin layer of gold.

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Photo by selihpxe8 via Flickr

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: selihpxe8/Flickr

Ping-pong

Did you know that table tennis (also known as ping-pong) is not only an Olympic sport, but is played competitively by more than 40 million people worldwide, making it the largest participation sport in the world?

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Photo by beezart via Flickr

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: beezart/Flickr

Equipment

Did you know they are estimating to use approximately 26,400 tennis balls, 3,000 table tennis balls and 2,700 footballs at the London Olympics?

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Photo by Horia Varlan via Flickr

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: Horia Varlan/Flickr

Olympic motto

Did you know that the Olympic motto is, "Citius, Altius, Fortius," which means "Swifter, Higher, Stronger"?

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* Don't miss our guide to kids and the Olympics, including recipes, party ideas, fun facts and more! www.todaysparent.com/olympics >

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: Berg/iStockphoto

More fun facts

9 things you didn't know about the OlympicsPhoto: ideabug/iStockphoto

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