An estimated 20,000 members of the media will attend the Summer 2012 London Olympics. One of them will be me.
In preparation for my trip over the pond to cover the games, I thought I would address some of the weird statements know-it-alls have made to me about the Olympics. Some are crazy, some are reasonable, some are just ignorant.
Rumor 1. Men have more Olympic sports than women.
WRONG. This year's games, with the scandal of adding women's boxing to the list for the first time, will have men and women competing in all the same sports. However, men still do get to compete in more medal events.
Rumor 2. All countries put aside their religious beliefs and come together for the games.
First, not all countries participate, just all the ones Americans have heard of. Second, religion actually led to the banning of the Olympics for over 1500 years, 393 A.D. until 1894, because the games were thought to celebrate Paganism, which Christians have successfully wiped out, according to history.
Rumor 3. The U.S. has the most gold medals of any country.
This is true. The U.S has 894 gold medals. The country with the second-most gold medals at 395 is the Soviet Union, which as of 1991, isn't even a country anymore. Amurica.
Rumor 4. Soccer and swimming are the best sports to bet on.
To each his own. I'd say the best bet is to put a dollar on the 2012-1 odds that the Loch Ness monster will be spotted in the Thames during the games this summer. Ladbrokes, a real gambling company based in England, offers this lucrative option, according to the Mother Nature Network.
Rumor 5. European economies are on the verge of collapsing.
I've heard this a few times, although I fail to see a direct correlation to the Olympic games. While only time will tell on this one, the logical conclusion is that the revenue generated by the Olympic games, estimated to be £10 billion by Llyods TSB, a big English banking brand, will insulate Great Britain for a bit and help neighboring countries. Points if you know how many American dollars that is.
Rumor 6. No one cares about the Paralympics.
Sadly, it's the 60th anniversary of the paralympics and this may be true. However, during the London Summer Olympics of 1948, injured WWII soldiers participated in wheelchair games on opening day, according to the London Councils 2012 Team. That's pretty awesome.
Rumor 7. Shaun Johnson is going to win her first gold.
She actually announced her retirement from gymnastics in early June because of a reoccurring knee injury, according to the LA Times. That means she will not be competing at the London Olympics. Moreover, she already has a gold medal for her beam routine in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Rumor 8. London is going to be crazy.
The people in London might display mentally strange symptoms, but the physical city is incapable of experiencing psycho-sensory phenomena. No citation needed.
Rumor 9. Terrorists are going to bomb London.
Umm, lets hope not. When people say this I wonder if they know something I don't. Sketch.