Few occasions present the opportunity for drama and excitement like the Olympics, more so the Winter Games because of the harsh conditions under which it is played. This infographic presents a selection of the many amazing and amusing stories told in this glorious event.
10 Tales of Triumph, Tragedy, Pride, and Glory
The Most Expensive Olympics in History. With 11 new venues and price tag of $51 billion, the Sochi Games goes into the record books as the most expensive games ever held, beating even the Beijing Summer Games ($46.5 billion).
Most Bemedaled Winter Olympian. Cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie of Norway remains the Winter Olympian with the most medals (8 golds and 4 silvers).
The Only Athlete to Win Gold at the Summer and Winter Games. Eddie Eagan became the only athlete in Olympic history to win gold at both a Summer and Winter Games. Eagan was the 1920 light-heavyweight boxing gold medalist and won a gold in 4-man bobsled at Lake Placid in 1932.
The BMW Bobsled. Built by a company that certainly knows the business of speed, the BMW-built bobsled of the USA team in Sochi is wrapped in carbon fiber and optimized with advanced aerodynamic engineering.
Fatal Crash Wipes Out Skating Medal Hopes. A Sabena Airlines crash in Belgium killed 78 people including all of the 18-member USA ice skating team. A whole generation of potential medal winners was wiped out by that fatal Flight 548 crash on February 15, 1961.
Richest Winter Olympics Athlete. Snowboarder Shaun White’s net worth was estimated to be $20 million prior to the Vancouver Games of 2010. He is the face of the sport and continues to earn millions in endorsements as he prepares for Sochi.
Twelve New Events Debut in Sochi. Perhaps the most dramatic addition is the women’s event in ski jumping. A long campaign involving lawsuits and lobbying have finally brought equality to the once all-male sport.
Winter Olympics in Warm Sochi. A country known for the most bitter winters chooses to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a subtropical resort town, where even in winter temperatures rarely drop below 12°C. Snow machines are on standby just in case warm weather threatens.
What’s A Sochi Gold Medal Worth? The Sochi gold medal contains 516 grams of silver and 6 grams of gold. But what’s it really worth to the winner? Russia promised $122,000 to each of its gold medal winners. The USA has not come out with an announcement yet, but gold medalists in the London Games got $25,000.
The Sochi Olympic Torch’s Epic Relay. From the world’s deepest lake to Europe’s highest mountain and into outer space, the Sochi Olympic torch will be carried by 14,000 bearers on foot, bus, plane and many other forms of transportation over 65,000 kilometers for 123 days across 2,900 cities and villages.