Today in History: Mark Spitz wins 7th Gold in 1972

Today in History: Mark Spitz wins 7th Gold in 1972

46 years ago today, U.S. swimmer legend Mark Spitz won his 7th gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He earned the gold when Spitz and his team set a new world record in the 400-meter medley relay. Spitz also set new world records in the six other events in which he won the gold. At the time, no other athlete had won so many gold medals at a single Olympiad, a record that would stand until Michael Phelps took home 8 gold medals at the 2012 Beijing Games.

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Today is National Running Day

Today is National Running Day

Each year on the first Wednesday in June, people across the United States participate in National Running Day. This day was designated as a day for runners to reaffirm their passion for running.

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Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

Happy Birthday, Otl Aicher born in 1922

The German graphic designer and typographer would have turned 96 today. Aicher was best known for his visual designs for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. His pictograms for the different sports continue to be used worldwide.

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Happy Birthday, Victor Vasarely

Happy Birthday, Victor Vasarely

The Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely (born: Gyözö Vásárhelyi ) would have turned 110 today. Born in Pecs, Hungary, in 1908, Vasarely began his artistic training in Budapest in the late 1920s. In 1928, he studied the concepts of the Bauhaus working under Sandor Bortnyk at the Mühely Art School. Vasarely moved to Paris in 1930 and became an independent graphic designer. His early work was characterized by strong black and white contrasts. In the late 1940s, Vasarely developed his own geometric abstract style exploiting the deception of the human eye using forms of geometry and color nuances to trigger striking spatial effects. This led to the formulation of the principles of the short-lived Op Art movement in the early 1950s for which Vasarely is probably best known. In 1970, Vasarely opened the first museum dedicated to his art in Gordes, France (it closed in 1996). In 1976, he founded the Fondation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence (housed in a building designed by Vasarely). In 1976, the Vasarely Museum was established in the artist’s birth-town of Pécs. A second museum in Zichy Palace in Budapest followed in 1987. Victor Vasarely died in Paris on March 15, 1997.

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Tonight is the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games

Tonight is the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games

Millions of people around the world will tune in to watch the festivities and celebrate the beginning of “the world’s greatest sporting event.” The 2018 Winter Games will be hosted by Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The first Olympic Games took place in Ancient Greece in 776 BC. Historians believe there was just one event—a short sprint called the “stadion.” The modern-day Olympic Games began in 1896. Today, over 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries compete for a coveted gold medal.

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Today in History: First Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France in 1924

Today in History: First Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France in 1924

The concept of Winter Olympic Games was first introduced in 1924. Following the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Congress decided that France, host of the 1924 summer games, should conduct a separate event for winter sports that same year. The French spa town of Chamonix was chosen to host what was named the “International Winter Sports Week” – the event actually lasted 11 days. The original sports were alpine and cross country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating. In 1925, the IOC officially created separate Olympic Winter Games and the 1924 Games in Chamonix were retroactively designated as the first Winter Olympics.

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Today in History: Basketball was invented in 1891

Today in History: Basketball was invented in 1891

126 years ago today, the game of basketball was created by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith wrote the sport’s original 13 rules to create a game that could be played in YMCA gyms during the cold winter months. Initially, teams were made up of nine players attempting to toss a soccer ball into peach baskets secured to the balconies at the ends of a gymnasium. When a basket was made, the game was paused while a man with a ladder had to retrieve the ball. Following the first public matches in 1892, popularity of the new game spread quickly. The first intercollegiate match was played in 1895 and the first professional league was founded in 1898.  Nets did not replace the sport’s original peach baskets until 1905.

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