Fas­ci­nat­ing Facts to Know and Tell


A Brief His­tory of Ten­nis

The game of ten­nis evolved from a ver­sion in the 12th cen­tury that was played with bare hands in­stead of a racket, known as jeu de paume (“game of the palm”) which was played in monas­ter­ies in north­ern France. The word “ten­nis” be­gan ap­pear­ing in Euro­pean lit­er­ary works about 200 years later, and a glove was used in­stead of bare hands. By the 16th cen­tury, the racket re­placed the glove and the game was played in an en­closed area. This ver­sion of the game is now re­ferred to as real ten­nis or royal ten­nis, due to its pop­u­lar­ity with roy­alty. One of royal ten­nis’ fans in­cluded King Henry VIII of Eng­land, and it is be­lieved he was watch­ing a match when his sec­ond wife Anne Bo­leyn was ar­rested, and later that he was play­ing when he heard the news of her ex­e­cu­tion.

Olympic Medals for Art

The mod­ern Olympic Games used to award medals in art com­pe­ti­tions di­vided into five cat­e­gories: ar­chi­tec­ture, lit­er­a­ture, mu­sic, paint­ing, and sculp­ture and all en­tries were in­spired by sports. The art com­pe­ti­tions ended af­ter the 1948 Lon­don Olympics when of­fi­cials de­clared it was un­fair to per­mit pro­fes­sion­als to com­pete, un­like the man­date that only am­a­teur ath­letes could com­pete in the sport­ing events. Since then, non­com­pet­i­tive art ex­hi­bi­tions have oc­curred dur­ing the Games. The 2016 Rio cul­ture pro­gram, Cel­e­bra (Cel­e­brate), will pro­duce open-air ac­tiv­i­ties in mu­sic, lit­er­a­ture, vis­ual arts, theater, and dance aimed at awak­en­ing the sport­ing spirit.

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