The world of sport is one that’s famous for producing intriguing statistics and we love learning sporting facts. Whether you’re swotting up so can help your quiz team to glory, or just want to impress your friends and family with your knowledge, this list of our ten favourite pieces of sports trivia is for you.
1. Golf Balls Have, On Average, 336 Dimples
The dimples on a golf ball are designed to make it more aerodynamic, allowing it to travel further in the air. There are no official rules about how many dimples a golf ball can have and most feature between 300 and 500.
2. Olympic Gold Medals are Predominantly Made from Sterling Silver
Despite their name and colour, the gold medals presented to winners at the Olympic Games haven’t been made from solid gold since 1912. The modern gold medals are made from sterling silver and feature just small quantities of the precious metal (the Rio 2016 versions were 1.34 percent gold).
3. Formula One Driver, Sebastian Vettel, Wears Lucky Coins in His Racing Boots
F1 drivers are well-known to be a superstitious bunch and three-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel is no exception. When driving for Red Bull, he revealed that he usually wears lucky coins tucked into the laces of his boots.
4. Sports Have Been Played on the Moon
In 1971, Alan Shephard and Edgar Mitchell made history when they became the first people to play sport on the moon. The Apollo 14 astronauts participated in what Mitchell later jokingly described as “the first lunar Olympics”. Shephard hit a golf ball while Mitchell threw a makeshift javelin – it was actually a staff they’d used in one of their scientific experiments.
5. Michael Phelps Has Won More Olympic Golds Than Mexico
The American swimmer added five gold medals and a silver to his collection in Rio 2016 to take his Olympic medal haul to a record-breaking total of 28. According to Time Magazine, he’s won more Olympic golds during his career than many countries, including Portugal and Mexico, have won since 1896.
6. The Colours of the Olympic Rings are Significant
Many people know that each of the world-famous Olympic rings represents one of the five continents of the world. However, the rings were designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertein in 1912, and he stated that, together with the white background, their colours also represented the flags of every nation competing at that year’s event.
7. The First Recorded Diving Championship in the UK Took Place in 1889
It was called the Championships of Scotland and involved three different types of dives: one from the side of the swimming pool, one from a height of six feet and a surface dive.
8. Ski Ballet Used to be a Competitive Sport
Ski ballet, in which competitors perform balletic and acrobatic movements on the snow, was an official freestyle skiing discipline from the 1960s until 2000. It even featured as a demonstration sport in the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and 1992.
9. The 1956 Summer Olympics Were Held in Two Countries
Melbourne, in Australia, was the official host city for the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, but it was unable to host the equestrian events due to the country’s tough quarantine laws. These events were, as a result, held in Stockholm, five months earlier than the main Olympics began. These weren’t the first Games to be held in two countries either – that honour goes to the 1920 Summer Olympics, which took place in Belgium and the Netherlands.
10. Danny “Shiphtur” Le was the First E-Gamer to be Given an Athlete’s Visa in the US
Nowadays, e-sports are big business, but whether not the activity should be classed as a sport has been a contentious one. US immigration officers, however, classed Canadian gamer, Danny “Shiphtur” Le, as an athlete when he became part of an American “League of Legends” team in 2007.
What’s your favourite piece of sports trivia? Show off your knowledge by sharing your sporting facts in the comments section, or on Twitter or Facebook.