Olympic firsts

Beijing will mark the first Olympics covered using high-defintion TV technology, and certainly it will be the first Olympics to sell more than 6 million tickets. Other Olympic firsts from the archives:

1896 – Opening of Games by a head of state, King George of Greece
1908 – Parade of nations
1912 – Use of electronic timing devices and PA system
1920 – Olympic flag first flown and Olympic oath sworn
1928 – Lighting of cauldron; track and field events for women
1936 – Torch relay
1948 – Participation by Communist countries
1956 – Boycott (by several countries for different reasons)
1960 – Summer Games covered by US television
1964 – First Asian Olympics (Tokyo)
1968 – First, and only, Central/South American Olympics (Mexico City)
1980 – Athlete wins eight medals at a single Games (Soviet gymnast Aleksandr Dityatin)
1984 – First Games since 1986 staged without government financing
2000 – Australian Aborigine to win gold (sprinter Cathy Freeman)
2004 – More than 200 countries compete

Compiled by Ross Atkin

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