The Olympic Games is among the most prestigious and celebrated sports that exist on the globe. The event is known for featuring several competitions in the summer and winter season where thousands of competitors from different parts of the world participate in a variety of games.
After being pushed back a year due to Covid-19, the Tokyo Summer Olympics officially kicked off with the opening ceremony on July 23rd. To celebrate, here are 5 facts about the Olympic Games that you probably didn’t know and how you can watch the 2020 Olympics from the comfort of your own home. Let the games begin!
Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About the Olympics
Where the Olympic rings came from
The five rings represent the world’s continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas and Europe, and are interlinked to symbolize a unified world and the coming together of athletes from different continents to compete. The use of color in the design — green, blue, black, red and yellow — represents the colors in the national flags of countries that competed at the 1912 Olympic Games.
Gold medals are mostly made of silver
Despite the popular belief that the Gold Medal is composed of pure gold, this hasn’t been the case since the 1912 Olympics. Today’s Olympic Gold Medal is made almost entirely from silver with approximately 6 grams of gold to meet the standard laid out in the Olympic Charter. The medals for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo were made from 80,000 tons of recycled electronics.
The first Olympic event to be televised
Germany was the first country to televise the Olympic Games in 1936. Often called the Nazi Olympics, the event was broadcasted entirely in black and white. The feed was, however, only available in Germany because there wasn’t a concept of global television back then.
Cancellation of the Olympics
The Olympics have only been cancelled three times in history. The games were cancelled in 1916 due to World War I, and in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II. The Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent national lockdowns led to the 2020 Olympic Games being postponed by a year, making history as the first games to be postponed rather than cancelled.
The Olympic Torch Relay is not an ancient tradition
The Torch Relay has its roots in the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics. Carl Diem, Chief Organizer of the Olympic Games, used the relay as a propaganda tool for the Nazi Party to showcase the supposed superiority of the Aryan race. The relay passed through Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria and Czechoslovakia, who would all succumb to Nazi rule within 10 years.
How to Watch the 2020 Olympics for Free
NBC continues to be the exclusive Olympics broadcaster on network television in the U.S., programming across cable, broadcast and digital platforms.
If you have a cable subscription, tune into your local NBC station for all Olympic content. You can also access NBC content through Hulu + Live TV, a special subscription of Hulu.
If you’ve cut the cord, but have an account on Peacock, NBC’s free streaming service, you’re also all set.
If those options are not for you, but you already have access to Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV or Android TV, you should be able to connect to the official Olympic Channel app through your device or your platform’s mobile or phone app, at no extra charge.
One last option that you can try for free is the live Olympics coverage at Olympics.com, also known as the Olympic Channel. The platform offers select coverage of certain Olympics events at no charge.