13 surprising sports facts

10:00    08 Jul 2019

Sport can be remarkable, unpredictable and just downright weird. Fox Sports Africa brings you 13 surprising sports facts which are sure to blow your mind.

- Olympic gold medals are not actually made of gold. The last Games to feature medals made of solid gold was in 1912. The current medals are 93 percent silver and six percent copper, leaving about one percent for the highly-prized gold finish.

- The Boston Bruins name is mispelled “Bqstqn Bruins” on the Stanley Cup for their 1971-72 title.

- The word ‘soccer’ is an actually an 1800s slang term. It comes from the abbreviation for “association,” or “assoc,” as in Football Association. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it began as “socca,” then morphed into “socker,” and finally into “soccer.”

- Every ball used in Major League Baseball is dirty. In order to take the slick factory sheen off and allow pitchers to get a better grip, MLB wipes down each baseball with mud taken from a special location in New Jersey.

- It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.

- The two golf balls that astronaut Alan Shepard hit on the moon with a six-iron in 1971 are still there. Shepard said that one went into a crater and the other “sailed for miles and miles”.

- When the United States upset England 1-0 in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the story goes that many newspapers believed the score line to be a typo and reported that England had won 10-1.

Read more: fifa looking to expand women’s world cup

- When asked why he didn’t win gold in Cross Country at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Norwegian skier Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset genuinely said: “I think I have seen too much porn in the last 14 days.”

- The longest recorded point in tennis history took 29 minutes and featured the ball crossing the net 643 times in a 1984 women’s match.

- The phrase about winning something “hands down” originally referred to a jockey who won a race without whipping his horse or pulling back the reins.

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, played goalkeeper for the amateur Portsmouth Association Football Club, which would eventually become the Portsmouth professional team that won the FA Cup in 2008.

- Every year, 125,000 golf balls are hit into the water at the famous 17th hole of the Stadium Course at Sawgrass.

- At 120 miles per hour (approximately 193 kilometres per hour), a Formula 1 car generates so much downforce that it can drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel.


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