10 little-known stories about the Olympics

As the 2012 Olympics play out in London, David Wallechinsky’s latest book The Complete Book of the Olympics, 2012 Edition, provides some great finds about past Games.

9. Making an entrance


Three American men have won the Olympic marathon, but none enjoyed the thrill of entering the Olympic stadium at the finish first. In 1900, Thomas Hicks won but only after the first man into the stadium, Fred Lorz, was found to have cheated by hitching a ride in a car for a good part of the race. In 1908, the first man into the stadium was Italy’s Dorando Pietri, but he was disqualified after being helped across the finish line in a dazed state, allowing Johnny Hayes of the US to claim the gold. And in 1972, a hoaxster tried to steal the applause meant for lead runner Frank Shorter’s entry. Instead of an ovation, a perplexed Shorter arrived with the crowd booing and whistling at the imposter.

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