At the 2014 Winter Olympic games, more than 2,800 athletes from 88 different countries participated. At the 2012 Summer Games, athletes from 204 countries were represented.
While some countries sent more than 200 participants to the 2014 Winter Olympics, 18 nations sent just one athlete. Additionally, five countries made their Olympic debut in 2014: Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Zimbabwe. The number of countries taking part in the Olympics has increased steadily over the years; the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece saw athletes representing 14 nations, while the first Winter event in Chamonix, France in 1924 fielded participants from 16 nations.Learn More
As of 2014, the most recent Olympic games were the winter contests held in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014. More than 2,800 athletes competed in the games, and 12 new events were introduced, including women's ski jumping and the ski half-pipe for men and women.Full Answer >
The Olympic rings do not actually represent countries or continents, but they do represent the five major colors that can be found in world flags, including blue, yellow, black, green and red. It is a common misconception that the rings designate specific continents.Full Answer >
The ancient Olympic Games took place in Olympia, in the western Peloponnese Islands. The area was considered a sanctuary and contained temples to Zeus and Hera, among other important structures. The games began there in 776 B.C. and continued until Emperor Thedosius I of Rome outlawed them in 394 A.D.Full Answer >
Olympic athletes do not receive any money from the International Olympic Committee, but some countries give athletes bonus pay for receiving a medal. In 2012, U.S. Olympians received $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze from the U.S. Olympic Committee.Full Answer >