- American Myer Prinstein finished runner-up in the 1900 long jump in Paris,
despite not even showing up for the finals. Prinstein sat out the finals because it was against
his beliefs to participate on Sunday. Qualifying jumps counted back then so he took second on
the basis of those. As legend has it, he was so angry at eventual gold-medal winning jumper
Alvin Kraenzlein for competing in the finals that he punched him in the face.
- The 1912 Greco-Roman wrestling match in Stockholm between Finn Alfred Asikainen and
Russian Martin Klein lasted more than 11 hours. Klein eventually won but was too
exhausted to participate in the championship match so he settled for the silver.
- Did you ever wonder why the official distance of a marathon was exactly 26 miles,
385 yards? In 1908, the marathon standard had been set at exactly 26 miles. However, at the
Olympic marathon in London, it was decided that the royal family needed a better view of the
finish line so organizers added an extra 385 yards to the race so the finish line would
be in front of the royal box. And it's been that way ever since.
- The five interlocking rings of the Olympic flag symbolize the five continents of the world
(Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas) "linked together in friendship." Olympics
founder Pierre de Coubertin claimed that at least one of the rings' colors (blue, yellow, black,
green, and red, along with the white background) was present in each country's national flag.
World record, but no gold medal: In 1924, American Robert LeGendre shattered the world long jump
record with a leap of 25 feet, four inches. However, the jump was part of the pentathlon competition
and LeGendre could muster only a third-place finish overall. The actual long jump competition was
won with a jump of 24 feet, five inches.
- Stella the Fella—Poland's Stella Walsh (Stanislawa Walasiewicz)—won the
women's 100-meter race at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, becoming the first woman to break
the 12-second barrier. When she was killed in 1980 as an innocent victim in a robbery attempt,
an autopsy declared her to be a male.
- Danish rider Lis Hartel won the silver medal in the 1952 equestrian dressage event in Helsinki.
Hartel suffered from an inflammation of the spinal cord known as poliomyelitis, which required
her to be lifted on and off her horse each time.
- Before there was Kerri Strug, there was Japan's Shun Fujimoto. In the men's team gymnastics
competition in 1976, he actually broke his kneecap while performing in the floor exercise. The
following day, however, he needed a top-notch performance in the rings for Japan to secure the
gold. With no pain killers, he performed a near flawless routine and stuck the landing, putting
a tremendous amount of pressure on his injured knee. He grimaced in pain as he held his position for the judges, then finally collapsed in agony. Japan won the team gold by just four tenths of a point over the Soviet Union.
- And you thought they just used a match. Did you know that traditionally the Olympic flame in
Olympia, Greece is rekindled every two years using the sun's rays and a concave reflective
mirror? (Note: This year, cloudy skies prevented the "traditional" lighting.)
- In 1928, reportedly six of the eight entrants in the women's 800-meter race collapsed at the finish line in an "exhausted state." Poor training methods and the brutal Amsterdam sun were the two major causes of distress. That event was subsequently cancelled until 1960.
The end of the school year is quickly approaching! Celebrate with fun activities, then prepare yourself and your students with report card advice, summer reading guides, summer math, and more.
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
June Calendar of Events
June is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Summer Begins (6/21), Helen Keller's Birthday (6/27/1880), World War I Began (6/28/1914), and Meteor Day (6/30). Plus, celebrate Child Vision Awareness Month, National Rivers Month, and National Safety Month all June long!
Causes We Support: We Give Books
Visit We Give Books, an ever-growing, free online library of children's picture books! For every book read on the site, a brand-new book will be donated to a children's literacy campaign of your choosing. Read aloud to students or encourage them read independently, and you'll teach them to help others at the same time. Giving is as simple as reading!