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Last Updated: Wednesday July 09 2008 05:15 GMT

Sonali's weird Olympics facts

Sonali graphic

On 8 August, the Beijing Olympics gets under way.

More than 10,000 athletes will be competing to get their hands on a gold medal, and many of them will be trying to break some records too.

But it's not just about being the fastest or the strongest. Over the years some bizarre records have been set at the Games.

Newsround's Olympics reporter Sonali has been taking a look through the record books….


The busiest athlete has to be Sheila Taormina.

The Beijing Olympic Games flags
Taormina will be the busiest athlete!
She's going to be the first woman ever to compete in three Olympics in three different sports.

The American won a gold medal in swimming in 1996 and competed in the triathlon at the Athens games in 2004.

This time in Beijing she'll be running in the modern pentathlon, which is made up of five different events.

Smallest

Lu Li was the smallest person ever to compete in the games.

The Chinese gymnast was just 1.36m when she won the uneven bars event with a perfect 10 at the 1992 games in Barcelona.

Longest

Visitors looking at the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest
Loads of people will head to Beijing
This year's Games last for 17 days. The opening ceremony is on the 8 August and the closing ceremony is on the 24.

But it's going to be quite short compared to the longest ever Olympics.

That was held in London, way back in 1908. It lasted for 187 days, starting in April and ending in October!

Biggest

Volunteers in the press centre
The Olympics press centre will be busy!
The Olympic Games is the biggest broadcast event in the world.

Three and a half billion people in 220 countries tune in to watch the Games on TV.

This year there'll be more than 21,000 journalists in Beijing covering all the action. And I'll be one of them!

Weirdest

A poodle being groomed at Crufts dog show
A poodle being groomed at Crufts dog show
And the weirdest event ever to be held at the Olympics has got to be poodle-clipping.

It only featured in one Games in Paris in 1900. A farmer's wife won the gold medal.

She managed to trim 17 poodles in just two hours!