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Here’s a bit of Olympic trivia for you–

Olympic Charter, Rule # 6 states: “Only those sports which are practiced on snow or ice are considered as winter sports.”

Did you know that? I didn’t.  I mean, I assumed most of the sports of the Winter Olympics were in some way affiliated with snow or ice, but I never actually thought about it that way.  I saw that rule and had to think long and hard–are there any sports in the Winter Olympics that didn’t involve snow or ice?  I couldn’t come up with one.  Glad to have this chart to peruse–thanks to the New York Times columnist Ben Schott–which tells me all the sports, from then and now and other fun facts and figures:

Notable:

  • The first Olympics had an event called “Military Patrol” which, thanks to a little bit of Googling and Wikipedia referencing, was more of a demonstration event and after 36 years became what we know as the Biathlon.
  • The games at the highest altitude were the 8th Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, CA in 1960, at 1880 feet.
  • The United States won the most medals –12– of all the 17 teams  when they  hosted the third Olympics in Lake Placid, NY in 1932.
  • The first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France hosted 258 athletes competing in 9 disciplines — The 21st Olympiad in Vancouver, Canada will host over 2500 athletes competing in 15 disciplines.

The New York Times has a great page devoted to the 2010 Winter Olympics here, with stories on different sports, athletes, gear, and all kinds of interactive media including an event tracker and videos of the downhill course at Whistler.

FYI coverage of the the Opening Ceremonies begins tonight at 7:30pm EST on NBC.

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The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are coming. Soon. Very Soon. FRIDAY, in fact. This Friday.

I, for one, CAN’T WAIT!  I love love love love watching winter sports, and especially winter Olympic competitions.  I’m thinking/hoping that this will be the first of many posts about the 2010 Winter Olympics, and I hope that our readers will write in about their favorite events, predictions for winners, and other thoughts and comments.  My personal favorites are too numerous to count, but figure skating, downhill skiing, and luge are right there at the top.

As a budding designer, I am always intrigued about the logos, icons, colors, and forms used to represent the Olympics, their host city, and their events. This year is no different.  This is the 2010 Vancouver logo:

and apparently somewhere in Olympic Village someone has carved and installed a large stone version.  The sportswear donned at the opening ceremonies is always either a fashion do or don’t, and this year I hear that USA is sporting lame-o popped Polos and funny white pants.  This year’s individual logos for each of the events are spectacular.  The colors blue and green swirl around an illustration of a figure doing the sport represented.  Here is an example of the skeleton  (to download your own versions and to check out other Olympic fun–schedules, medal counts, event recaps–check out the Official Vancouver Olympics Website.

The New York Times put out a great story on the history of the design of the torch which is worth a read–the article has an interactive time line where you hover over an Olympic year and the torch pops up with all kinds of interesting facts and info.

I had heard that this year’s Olympic medals were created from recycled materials, which I think is very hip and with it.  And when I was perusing a new favorite news site vbs.tv, I happened upon this video on how they were designed by a local firm (sorry I can’t embed the video for some reason… but at least it will also get you over to check out vbs.tv).  Each medal is different, none like any other, an individual piece of art that the winning Olympians will wear around their necks.

And don’t forget the Olympic mascots–they’re so cute!!

What’s your favorite part about the Olympics?  What are you most looking forward to watching?

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