Following the roaring success of my Jubilee inspired fact-based blog (well I learnt a few facts at least..!), this afternoon I felt inspired to forage for some energy based facts about the topic du jour; the Olympics.
Apart from EDF’s rather cool real-time energy usage graphs, and a collection of blogs on the Games’ sustainability credentials (here’s a rather good one that will be wishing they had Chris on tap for witty blog titles!), this actually proved harder than I anticipated. You probably already know that London’s Olympic Park houses the world’s first recyclable stadium, and you may have seen Timeout’s infographic of facts, but did you know that all athletes competed in the nude at the ancient Olympics? Thought not. Entertaining to know, but not exactly relevant to the E+I blog content! Here are a few other (kind of energy related) facts you might not have come across:
- In the ancient Olympic Games, the Olympic flame was ignited by the sun and then kept burning until the close of the Games. The flame fist appeared in the modern Olympics in 1928 in Amsterdam, with the Olympic Torch relay starting in 1936. According to this blog, the entire Olympic Torch relay in 2012 consumed the equivalent of 4,966 kilowatts, which is the same as a 40KW bulb burning for 124,158 hours, or just over 14 years.
- 200 kilometres of electrical cables – enough to stretch from London to Nottingham – were laid in two six kilometre tunnels built under the park, allowing 52 overhead pylons to be removed.
- 265km of utilities networks were installed across Olympic Park.
- The Olympic Park’s wind turbine will produce enough power for 1,000 homes.
- Over 4,000 trees, 74,000 plants, 60,000 bulbs and 350,000 wetlands plants were planted in the Olympic Park – the largest planting project ever undertaken in the UK.
- 20% of the Olympic site’s energy is from renewable sources.
- Michael Phelp’s energy consumption was said to comprise of 12,000 calories a day to get him to the Gold in 2008’s Beijing Olympics. Typically, the strength/power sports athletes (like weight lifting and shot put) eat the most, intaking between 2,800 and 6,000 calories a day, whilst gymnasts and divers need a mere 2-2,500. In ancient Greece apparently the athletes mostly ate cheese.
- At the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, silver medals were awarded to the winners and bronze to those coming in second. This isn’t an energy fact, but it is an industrial fact and therefore still highly relevant to E+I!
- Great Britain is the only nation to have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Games. Not an energy or industrial fact but I’m feeling patriotic. Please can we have one this year too?!