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It doesn’t seem four years since London hosted the 2012 Olympics, but with Rio starting in style on Friday night, we know it really was.

With nearly a month of badminton, cycling, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon rowing, sailing, and so much more happening, we thought we would have a look at some of the facts you might not know about this iconic, global sporting event.

The very first Olympic Games took place over three thousands years ago in 776 B.C.E. The games started as part of a religious festival to honour Zeus, the leader of the Greek gods who lived on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece.

The modern Olympics however, began in 1896. They were created by the French educator and historian, Pierre de Coubertin. Pierre believed the world would have more of an opportunity for peace if they gathered together to play sports. Nice idea.

Coubertin designed the famous five colour rings that represent the games and stand for North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia.

The Olympic flag, featuring this symbol on a white background, flew for the first time at the Antwerp Games in 1920.

Not many people know this, but every national flag of the world has at least one of the rings colours, blue, black, green, yellow, and red, in it.

The Olympic flame is lit at Olympia in Greece every two years (summer and winter games) before it travels to the next host nation and is paraded until the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron at the opening ceremony.

The 1900 Paris Olympics were the first to allow women to take part, and winners were awarded paintings rather than medals. Charlotte Cooper a tennis player from London, was the first female athlete to win an individual Olympic event at the these games in Paris.

The Olympic Winter Games started in in Chamonix, France in 1923. There were 16 events in six different sports. Team Canada dominated in the ice hockey tournament by scoring a total of 122 goals and only allowing three against them.

Only four athletes have won medals at both the summer and winter games. These were; Eddie Eagan (United States), Jacob Tullin Thams (Norway), Christa Luding-Rothenburger (East Germany), and Clara Hughes (Canada).

The Rio games are happening from 5th to 21st August with both the opening and closing ceremonies taking place in the Maracanã Stadium.

This is the first time the Olympic Games have ever been held in South America and will events will take place in 33 venues across the four areas of Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracanã.

A staggering 10,500 athletes from 205 countries will take part in 306 competitions in 42 different sports.

There will also be over 300 horses at the games, which is more than enough horses to fill a Grand National field seven times over.

The motto of the London games was ‘Inspire a generation’ and in 2016 it is ‘Viva sua Paixão’ which means ‘Live Your Passion’.

The new mascot is called Vinicius. He is based on a number of different Brazilian animals, and names after Vinicius de Moraes one of Brazil’s most-loved artists.

At Pure-Beauty we are most looking forward to the gymnastics, road cycling and swimming – how about you?