Whether you want to break the ice with a new group of people, you want to liven up the office or you’re preparing a pub quiz, fascinating facts will always help you out. Sports have been an important part of human life since the times of ancient civilisations. There is a lot more to the sporting world than the scores and scandals you read about in the news – every sport has an interesting history behind it.
Get clued up on some of coolest sports facts going and then regurgitate them to your inevitably captivated audience. Enjoy!
- If the American swimmer Michael Phelps were a country, he would be 35th in the world on the gold medal list with a whopping 28 under his belt.
- The phrase “winning hands down” originally comes from horse racing, when a jockey would be so secure in his victory that he would not need to raise his hands to whip his horse or pull on its reins.
- The Olympic rings represent the five continents of the world and the colours of the rings, including the white background, represent every single flag in the world because every flag has at least one of those six colours on it.
- In Thailand, flying a kite is a professional sport and there are big kite flying festivals and competitions all over the country throughout the year.Low-budget and eco-friendly, this is a sport the rest of the world should definitely get behind.
- Poor little Liechtenstein has competed in a record-breaking 16 summer Olympics without winning a single medal.
- Back in the day, a baseball was made using the foreskin of a horse. Thankfully, this practice has been abolished so you can handle your baseball without feeling totally grossed out.
- Between 1900 and 1920, the tug of war was part of the Olympic games and Great Britain won the most medals in it: five including two gold.
- In 1994, the Bulgarian football team was in the spotlight when it was realised that every single one of their eleven starting players had a surname ending in –ov.
- You know how clay pigeon shooting is a thing? Well those pigeons used to be real. At the Summer Games in Paris in 1900, hundreds of live pigeons were released in front of competitors. The aim was to shoot as many as you could.
- This might sound a little odd, but the official sport for the state of Maryland in the United States is jousting, which was originally adopted in 1962.
- The strings of the first tennis rackets were made from the dried intestines of sheep, goats and cows. The natural collagen found in the intestines were what gave the strings their elasticity
- London became the first city in the world to host the summer Olympic games three times in the summer of 2012. Paris will become the second to do so when it hosts the event in 2024.
- The grass at Wimbledon used to be kept at a length of two inches until one of the tennis players was bitten by a snake. Since then, 8mm has been the preferred length.