Which athlete has made the most Olympic appearances?

For reasons that will become apparent, the most appropriate answer to this question essentially boils down to semantics. Britannica, for example, defines athletics as ‘a variety of competitions in running, walking, jumping and throwing events’, whereas Merriam Webster defines an athlete as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina’.

Applying the first definition, strictly, the athlete who has made the most Olympic appearances is Spaniard Jesús Ángel García Bragado. Born in Madrid, on October 17, 1969, he made his Olympic debut in the 50-kilometre walk at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona on August 7, 1992; he finished tenth in a time of 3:58.43, exactly eight and a half minutes behind gold medallist Andrey Perlov. Thereafter, García Bragado competed in the same event of the next seven Olympic Games, culminating with the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. On August 6, 2021, at Odori Park in Sapporo, capital of the Japanese island of Hokkaido, he finished thirty-fifth in the 50-kilometre walk, at the age of 51.

Applying the second definition, though, it can be argued that pistol shooters, whose event does, after all, require physical strength and stamina, should be described as ‘athletes’. In that case, the athlete who has made the most Olympic appearances is, in fact, Georgian woman Nino Salukvadze, who made her Olympic debut, representing the Soviet Union, in the 25-metre pistol in Seoul, South Korea on September 18, 1988. She won the gold medal in that event and the silver medal in the 10-metre air pistol event two days later, having set a new world record in the qualifying round. Like García Bragado, she went on to compete at the next eight Olympic Games, for a total of nine appearances altogether.

In which city did the first modern Olympic Games take place?

In 1896, a historic event unfolded in Athens, Greece—the first modern Olympic Games. Athens, a city steeped in cultural heritage, was chosen as the host, symbolising the revival of the ancient Greek tradition. Led by visionary Pierre de Coubertin, the Games brought together athletes from around the world, showcasing their skills and fostering a sense of international camaraderie.

When it comes to sporting spectacles, nothing gets better than the backdrop that Athens delivered. While Athens will always be known for its ancient ruins, it is also known for being the first place where Athletes descended to compete across many different sports. From gymnastics to swimming and track and field events, it was a sight to behold as they competed against each other.

The inaugural modern Olympics marked a significant milestone in the history of sport, reigniting the flame that had burned bright centuries ago. Athens’ contribution extended beyond hosting the first Games; it became a cherished Olympic destination, hosting subsequent editions and solidifying its place in sporting history.

Today, Athens stands as a symbol of the enduring Olympic spirit. Its legacy as the birthplace of the modern Olympics continues to inspire athletes worldwide. The Games exemplify the power of sport to transcend boundaries and unite people from diverse backgrounds, fostering a spirit of friendship and fair competition.

The first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece, in 1896, rekindling the flame of the ancient Greek tradition. This momentous event showcased the talent and dedication of athletes while promoting international unity through sport. Athens’ rich cultural heritage and its role in hosting subsequent Olympics make it an iconic city in the annals of the Olympic movement.

What is the world record for the fastest marathon time ever recorded?

In the realm of marathon running, an extraordinary feat unfolded that left the world breathless and evoked a sense of wonder. Eliud Kipchoge, the illustrious Kenyan athlete, etched his name in the annals of history through a remarkable achievement that shattered expectations and redefined the boundaries of human potential.

Picture the scene—the vibrant streets of Berlin, a stage set for greatness. On that momentous September 16, 2018, Kipchoge embarked on a monumental journey, transcending mere competition to embody the very essence of perseverance and athletic prowess.

With every stride, Kipchoge defied the limits of physical endurance, propelled by unwavering determination and an unwavering focus. Each footfall was a testament to years of arduous training, disciplined preparation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence that set him apart.

As the marathon unfolded, the atmosphere crackled with anticipation. The world held its collective breath, knowing they were witnessing something truly extraordinary. Kipchoge’s form was poetry in motion, a seamless fusion of grace and power as he pushed the boundaries of human capability.

As the finish line drew near, time seemed to stand still. In a climactic moment, Kipchoge crossed the hallowed threshold, the clock freezing at an astonishing time—2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds. The crowd erupted in a symphony of applause, aware that they were witnessing history being made.

Kipchoge’s record-breaking marathon time shattered all preconceived notions, eclipsing the previous world record by an astounding margin of 1 minute and 18 seconds. This monumental achievement epitomised the relentless pursuit of greatness, inspiring generations to come.

Beyond the realm of athletics, Kipchoge’s triumph represents the indomitable human spirit, an embodiment of the human capacity to overcome adversity and overcome limitations. It serves as a powerful reminder that our potential knows no bounds when we harness the strength within us.

Who was Rosie Ruiz?

The late Rosie Vivas (née Ruiz), who died of cancer, aged 66, on July 8, 2019, will always be best remembered as the ‘winner’ of the women’s division of Boston Marathon in 1980. On April 21, 1980, Ruiz supposedly completed the Boston course in a time of 2:31:56, breaking the course record by three minutes, and recording the third fastest by a woman in marathon history. She also improved by over 20 minutes on her previous best, supposedly achieved in the New York City Marathon the previous October.

Ruiz, 26, happily accepted a laurel wreath and medal for her ‘victory’, but suspicions soon arose that her record-breaking performance was not all it seemed. She lacked the toned, defined legs of a typical long-distance runner and, having supposedly run 26 miles, in a heavy T-shirt, in temperatures approaching 80°F, she appeared at the finish line apparently as fresh as a daisy, without a bead of sweat in sight. Commentators, including Kathrine Switzer – the first woman to run, officially in the Boston Marathon – who had followed the race throughout, were perplexed as to how Ruiz had managed to pass Canadian Jacqueline Gareau in the closing stages, and rightly so.

Subsequent analysis of race photographs and interviews revealed that Ruiz had not run the full marathon distance, but rather jumped into the race in the last mile or so. However, in so doing, she made a serious miscalculation; instead of emerging from the crowd, unnoticed, in the middle of a pack of runners, she did ahead of the other 448 woman in the field. Her friend, Steve Marek, said later, ‘Believe me, she was as shocked as anyone when she came in first.’

Ruiz was disqualified in favour of Gareau and, to add insult to injury, her time in the New York City Marathon – in which she finished eleventh behind record-breaking Norwegian Grete Waitz – was invalidated after it emerged that she rode the subway for 16 miles after turning an ankle. Ruiz never admitted any wrongdoing and never returned the medal she was presented in Boston.

Was live pigeon shooting once an Olympic sport?

Remarkably, live pigeon shooting did feature once, and only once, at the Olympic Games, albeit as a demonstration, rather than official, sport. The Games of the II Olympiad were unusual infosar as they were piggybacked onto the Exposition Universelle, or World Exhibition, which was held in Paris, France between April and November, 1900. As such, they were poorly organised, poorly promoted and poorly attended.

All told, eight officially-recognised shooting competitions were held at Camp de Satory, Versailles

and Le Stand de l’Île Séguin, Billancourt in early August, but the Exposition Universelle featured many more ‘non-Olympic’ shooting events, some of which required an entry fee and awarded prize money. The main live pigeon shooting event, for example, required an entry fee of 200 French francs and offered total prize money of 20,000 French francs.

Competitors were required to shoot as many pigeons, released one at a time, as possible; when they missed two in a row, their total number of hits was tallied. After nearly 300 living, breathing pigeons had been blown away, Belgian Léon de Lunden was declared the winner, with 21 kills, one ahead of Frenchman Maurice Faure, with 20 kills, and two ahead of Australian Donald Mackintosh and American Crittenden Robinson, with 18 kills apiece.

As far as prize money was concerned, that quartet agreed to divide the 20,000 French francs equally between them. Indeed, the leading four competitors were posthumously awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in 1992, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reclassified the live pigeon shooting event(s), such that they were no longer recognised as official Olympic events. Unsurprisingly, live pigeon shooting never again featured in, or in association with, an Olympic programme.