- Australia’s Henry Pearce stopped rowing in his 1928 Amsterdam games quarter-final to allow a family of ducks to pass safely in front of his boat. He still won the heat and took gold in the final.
- 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 four miles out.
- Steeplechasers at the 1932 Games had to run an extra lap on top of their normal 7.5 when an official lost count
- A total of 34 runners failed to complete the 1912 marathon in Stockholm. One, Francisco Lazaro, died during the race but a day later it emerged another runner was still unaccounted for. It emerged that Japan’s Shizo Kanaguri, in a state of exhaustion, had stumbled off the course and into the garden of a family who were holding a picnic. They gave him raspberry juice and then put him to bed. When he awoke several hours later, shamed at his performance, he caught a train back to Stockholm and then a boat to Japan without telling anyone.
- Betty Robinson, 100m winner at the 1928 Amsterdam games, was in her cousin’s biplane three years later when it crashed in Chicago. She was pulled from the wreckage with no pulse by a bystander who, believing her dead, put her in the boot of his car and drove her to a local mortician. In fact, Robinson was alive and after waking from a seven-month coma, recovered sufficiently to compete at the 1936 Berlin Games.
We’ll keep you up to date with any bizarre facts we find out about the London 2012 Olympic Games as we find them……If you have any amusing stories to add, from the safety of your holiday cottage in Norfolk, please drop us a line!