Page 5 - Sports Facts

This Olympic athlete was thought to be missing for 50 years by Swedish authorities before they found out he just went home to Japan without telling them!

Shizo Kanakuri travelled from Japan in 1912 to take part in the Stockholm Olympic marathon race in Sweden.

The race was held at Sollentuna Municipality, but the temperatures rose to an unexpected 104 degrees Fahrenheit and many of the runners suffered from heat exhaustion.

Kanakuri, already tired from the long flight and having difficulty with the local food, passed out half way through the race.

He was cared for by a farming family and returned to Japan when he was well. Unfortunately he failed to inform race officials of his departure.

He was declared missing by Swedish authorities and was considered to be missing for 50 years before they discovered he was happily living in Japan! He had already competed in intervening Olympic marathons before they made this discovery.

In 1966 he was offered the opportunity to complete his run, and he accepted. He finally completed the marathon in 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.379 seconds!

After the race Shizo commented: "It was a long trip. Along the way, I got married, had six children and 10 grandchildren."

He was one of the early leaders of track and field athletics in Japan and has been celebrated as "father of marathon" in his home country.


Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio didn't seem impressed when his wife Marilyn Monroe performed for 100,000 troops--and had a GREAT one-liner when she told him about it

Joe DiMaggio is one of the greatest winners in sports history. In his 13 seasons, DiMaggio would play in 10 World Series and win nine of them, including his first four seasons. He was voted MVP three times and was an All-Star for all 13 seasons he played. To this day he holds the record for the longest hitting streak at 56 games, and retired as fifth on the all-time Home run list. DiMaggio was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955 with close to 89% of the vote.

But what non-baseball fans know him for is his short marriage to the famous sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. Monroe filed for divorce only nine months after their marriage, but they did become friends again later when DiMaggio secured her release from a psychiatric facility in 1961.

Perhaps the most famous quote of their marriage is when Monroe returned from performing for troops in Korea. Monroe retuned and said "you never heard such cheering!" To which the man who played in 51 World Series games replied, "yes I have."

DiMaggio actually took a break in the middle of his career to join the Air Force in 1943, but was treated with special privileges the entire time. DiMaggio was embarrassed by this special treatment and even demanded to be put into combat, but was denied.


For Yao Ming's first NBA game, the Miami Heat passed out 8,000 fortune cookies. Ming had a surprising reaction.

To celebrate Chinese basketball star Yao Ming's first game, the NBA distributed 8,000 fortune cookies at a game in Miami on December 16, 2002. Yao Ming set the record straight on how he felt about the incident, which many called insensitive.

Your gut might tell you that a Chinese person could take offense at such a thing. Ming didn't take offense, but not necessarily for the reason you might think. To him, it wasn't a stereotype because he'd never seen a fortune cookie in China. He didn't interpret the fortune cookies to have anything to do with him. In fact, he found the whole thing to be amusing.

Because Ming was not familiar with American stereotypes of the Chinese, he didn't feel that he was being attacked or slighted in any way. It is actually a misconception that many Americans have that fortune cookies are common in China. Ming thought they were an American invention.

All of this debate took place within a larger context of controversy about the NBA. At the time Ming started his professional career in the US, the NBA was seen as not taking an active enough role in confronting the racism that Asians faced from fellow players.


Some awesome lists!

Ping-Pong isn't really a sport! Find out what you're really playing!

For years, you've been playing Ping-Pong at family outings, college parties, and rec centers across the country. As it so happens, you've never actually played "Ping-Pong" because that sport doesn't exist—it's simply the name of a company that manufactures and sells table tennis (the official name) equipment!

Table tennis originated sometime in the medieval era in the 12th century AD. Back then it was known as "Royal Tennis." By the 1880s the sport remained popular with the upper classes in England as one of their many chosen past times.

The first official use of the term "table tennis" was in 1890 when David Foster patented a set in England that included the table version of lawn tennis, cricket, and football.

John Jacques first registered the term "Ping-Pong" in England in 1901. The name was then sold to Parker Brother in the United States. Within a week in 1901 the "Table Tennis Association" and "Ping-Pong Association" had formed, sparking a bit of a naming rivalry.

Table tennis first became an Olympic sport in Seoul, South Korea, at the 1988 games, cementing table tennis as a serious sport for the rest of time.


The new $100 bill has the words ‘THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’ printed in tiny script on the collar of Benjamin Franklin’s jacket.

The new banknote style officially went into circulation this year and sports a host of advanced technologies intended to thwart even the cleverest of counterfeiters. In addition to the microprinting on Franklin’s collar, the words ‘ONE HUNDRED USA’ appear along a golden quill to the right of his face. Tilting the bill back and forth will change the color of the number 100 and the quill’s inkwell from copper to green, and will also reveal holographic bells in its blue security ribbon that change to 100s! Other features include a faint watermark of Ben’s face to the right of his portrait and raised intaglio printing along his right shoulder.


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