Rio 2016: Olympic Mysteries Solved

Rio 2016: Olympic Mysteries Solved


The Olympics can be overwhelming to keep up with— 28 sports, 306 events and more than 11,000 athletes participating. Then there are those random questions that come to mind while you’re watching like, "Do Olympians get paid?" or "What are those circles on Michael Phelps back?" Well, we’ve got you covered. We asked the editors of People en Español to let us know their curiosities from the Olympics, whether it’s in general or specific to Rio. Here are the answers:

Why did the pool water turn green? 

The discoloration was from the water tanks of the pool running out of chemicals necessary for the water treatment process. “As a result the pH level of the water was outside the usual range, causing the discoloration,” said FINA. “The FINA Sport Medicine Committee conducted tests on the water quality and concluded that there was no risk to the health and safety of the athletes, and no reason for the competition to be affected.” The water will be going back to blue.

Why do Olympians bite their medals?

It's symbolic and all for the cameras. A way to find out if something is pure gold or not is to sink your teeth into it, even though Olympic medals haven't been made of real gold since 1912.

What are the bruised-looking dots on Michael Phelps back?

Find out here. 

Is there an age limit for gymnastics? 

A gymnast must be 16 by December 31 of the Olympic year. China has faced several speculations about how young the women on their team looked for several years. In 2010, China had their medals revoked when it was discovered a gymnast had falsified her age.

Why didn’t the Final Five get flowers this year?

This year’s Olympics are all about being enviromentally friendly. With nearly 2,500 medal winners in Rio, the idea of producing that many single-use flowers isn't ideal when trying to go green. In place of the flowers, winners are receiving a small wooden sculpture of the Rio Olympics logo.

What is a gold medal worth?

The gold medal is worth about $587 in current market prices, according to CNN. However, there are many different ways to value an Olympic gold medal including the value to collecters, if there is publicity behind it or who it belonged to.

Why are Russian athletes allowed to play after doping scandal?

A report published last month alleged that wide-scale doping by Russian athletes was hidden by the country's security services for years with the full knowledge of the ministry of sport. However, 271 Russian athletes were cleared to join the Rio Olympics, reported CNN

Why is golf now an Olympic sport?

This year is the first time golf will be played at the Olympics since 1904. With the rapid growth of the sport worldwide, the Olympic Committee recommended adding golf back into the Summer Olympics.

Why did baseball get dropped from Olympics?

Baseball's popularity lies in the Americas, Canada and Asia. Another problem with baseball is also its failure to reach an agreement with Major League Baseball to send the top players to the Olympics during the season.

What sports aren’t in the Olympics?

Bowling, Cricket, Squash, Mixed Martial Arts, Baseball, Lacrosse, and Polo.

Why does Michael Phelps swing his arms before swimming?

The swimmer does three arm swings and back slaps himself to clear his mind and loosen his limbs, as he told The New York Times.

Are the athletes allowed to have sex?

Insiders have reported of Olympians "getting busy" for centuries and 450,000 condoms were given out this year to the athletes. In Rio, an Insider told E! News that athletes are staying in the Olympic Village and hooking up with each other because of the strict curfew rules.

Are Olympians paid?

Olympic athletes get paid zero dollars. But that doesn't mean that athlete's earn no money— there is sponsorships and money from their countries for winning medals.

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