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Fun facts about the Olympics

A group of students from Uruguay pose for a souvenir picture on the Olympic Rings set outside the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Saturday, March 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

SALT LAKE CITY — As the Tokyo Summer Olympics officially get under way Friday evening with the opening ceremonies on KSL TV. Here are a few facts about the Games that you may not know.

  1. Athens, Greece hosted the first modern Olympics.
  2. The Olympics have been hosted by 19 different countries since 1896.
  3. The Olympic rings represent solidarity and unity among the  continents of Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania, and Europe.
  4. Gold, silver and bronze medals were not awarded until 1904. During ancient Olympics, the winners were awarded with a olive wreath.
  5. The United States has won more than 2,800 medals. Entering the 2021 Games, no other country has won more than 1,000.
  6. Michael Phelps is the most successful Olympian. The U.S swimmer earned 28 medals, including 23 gold, over four Olympics.
  7. Originally, the Games were only in the summer. The Winter Olympics began in 1924.
  8. Golf made its Olympics debut in 2016. Baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing will be debuting in 2020.
  9. The United States has hosted the Summer Olympics four times: twice in Los Angeles (1932 and 1984), St. Louis (1904) and Atlanta (1996).
  10. Figure skating started out as an Summer Olympics sport.

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