Down to the wire

TavEquestrian, Etymology, Fact

The expression ‘Down to the wire’ came from horse racing and is used in a close finish. Horse races would have a length of wire stretched across a racetrack at the finish line to help determine the winner.

Live Pigeon Shooting

TavFact, Shooting

There was live Pigeon Shooting at the 1900 Summer Games in Paris. The event actually entailed hundreds of pigeons being released, who were then shot in front of the spectators.

Paris 1900 Olympics and the Track and Field

TavFact, Track and Field

Times were tough for Paris in 1900 and they didn’t want to spend much on their Olympics. They held the Track and Field events in the Bois (woods) de Boulogne on an area of grass because they didn’t want to build a cinder track! They refused to cut trees down and both javelins and discuss were hitting and getting stuck ... Read More

Barefoot running in the Marathon

TavFact, Marathon

The 1964 Olympic Marathon champion Abebe Bikila won the race in trainers in a time of just 2 hours, 12 minutes and 11 seconds. His previous Olympic winning time in the 1960 games where he ran barefoot was 2:21:23.

Marathon 26 miles 285 yards

TavFact, Marathon

The marathon’s length of 26 miles, 385 yards is not the exact distance a messenger ran between the battlefield at Marathon and Athens to announce a Greek victory over the Persians in 490BC. In 1896, the runners at the first modern Olympics from Marathon to Athens covered 40km, which is less than 25 miles.

Naughty, Naughty Fred Lorz

TavFact, Marathon

American Fred Lorz’s marathon victory in the 1904 St Louis games was overturned when it was revealed he had hitched a lift in a car for most of the distance before racing to the finish from just four miles out.

Local knowledge help win marathon

TavFact, Marathon

Arthur Newton was one of the 1900 Paris Marathon pre-race favourites. The race was won by Théato, a baker’s assistant who lived and worked in Paris. He knew the streets of Paris well from his delivery routes. Newton claimed that Théato and Champion (the races’ Silver medallist) must have used their knowledge of the streets to cheat, as he never ... Read More

Bull’s Eye in Archery

TavArchery, Fact

The Bull’s Eye target wasn’t originally used in Archery, traditionally Archers would aim at trees! The Bull’s Eye was first used in shooting as targets for rifle and handgun competitions.

Not upstaged by her brother

TavArchery, Fact

William Dodd, who won an Olympic Gold in archery, had a sister who only won an Olympic silver medal in Archery. She did, however, go on to win the Wimbledon tennis title five times.

Original name of Badminton

TavBadminton, Fact

Poona was one of the original names for Badminton. It was named after the garrison town of Pune. The game was developed in India whilst under British rule.

Fastest Racket sport

TavBadminton, Fact

The fastest racket sport in the world is badminton, with shuttlecock speeds sometimes reaching more than 200 miles per hour.


TavBadminton, Fact

The Duke of Beaufort loved the Indian game of Poona so much that in 1873, he played the game at his Country Estate in badminton, England and this is how it got its International name.

12 inches Darts

TavDarts, Fact

On the professional circuit, players are allowed to throw darts that are up to 12-inches long.

9 darter

TavDarts, Fact

In darts, there are 3944 different ways of achieving 501 with nine darts, of which 2,296 finish with the Bull’s Eye, 672 end on double 20, 792 on double 18, 56 on double 17, 120 on double 15 and just eight finishing on double 12.

Triathlon distances

TavFact, Triathlon

Name Swim Bike Run Sprint 0.5mi (750m) 12.4mi (20km) 3.1mi (5km) Olympic 0.93mi (1.5km) 24.8mi (40km) 6.2mi (10km) ITU Long 1.86mi (3km) 49.6mi (80km) 12.4mi (20km) Half/70.3 1.2mi (1.9km) 56mi (90km) 13.1mi (21.09km) Ironman 2.4mi (3.8km) 112mi (180km) 26.2mi (42.195km)