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.

2. Rough beginnings in Stockholm


There were seven false starts for the final of the men’s 100-meter dash at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. Unlike this year in London, when a single false start will result in a runner’s disqualification, the eventual gold medalist in Stockholm, American Ralph Craig, jumped the gun three times, and on one of these false starts, he raced fellow American Donald Lippincott all the way to the finish line. Craig, who went on to a career in industrial engineering, made the US Olympic team 36 years later at age 59 as an alternate yachtsman. Although only a reserve at the 1948 London Games, he was honored by serving as the US flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony.   

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