Perhaps a little surprisingly, the history of the Summer Olympics is awash with tales of plucky teenagers – and, in one unconfirmed report, a prepubescent boy – who have not only contested, but won, gold medals. The prepubescent boy in question was an unidentified local lad, recruited by Dutch rowers Françoise Brandt and Roelof Klein as a lightweight replacement for regular coxswain Hermanus Brockman in the final of the men’s coxed pairs at the 1900 Olympics in Paris. If he was, in fact, presented with gold medal, which is not altogether clear, he would almost certainly be the youngest gold medallist in Olympic history, for all that his name and age remain unknown.
The youngest confirmed Olympic gold medallist, though, was Marjorie Gestring, who was 13 years and 268 days old when she took top honours for the United States in the women’s 3-metre springboard diving at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Donna Elizabeth de Varona, who swam for the United States in the heats of the women’s 4 x 100-metre freestyle relay at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, was actually 139 days younger than Gestring, but did not receive a gold medal because she did not swim in the final.
Coincidentally, the youngest confirmed male Olympic gold medallist in history also participated at the 1960 Games and, like the mysterious youngster from six decades previously, was a coxswain in the men’s coxed pairs. However, his name was Klaus Zerta, he was 13 years and 283 years old and he represented the ‘United Team of Germany’.
Prior to the Games of the III Olympiad, held in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904, Olympic champions were awarded silver, rather than gold, medals. Similarly, runners-up were awarded bronze, rather than silver, medals and third-place finishers received no medals at all.
However, at the Summer Olympics in 1904, the now-traditional gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for the first time. The three-medal format was quickly adopted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which retrospectively awarded medals to athletes who participate in the 1896 and 1900 Olympics, in Athens and Paris respectively.
In 1904, 1908 and 1912, Olympic gold medals were actually made from solid gold of various shapes and sizes. In London, in 1908, for example, Olympic gold medals measured just 35mm in diameter, but nonetheless consisted of 72 grams of 14 (58%) carat gold. The gold content alone made such medals worth in excess of £1,750 each, by modern standards. Nowadays, they regularly change hands for ten times that amount or more.
By contrast, according to the IOC specification, modern Olympic gold medals must measure at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm in thickness. Solid gold has long been dispensed with, though, replaced by silver, weighing 210 grams, coated with at least 6 grams of 24 carat gold. It appears that modern Olympic gold medals are no less desirable, as far as collectors are concerned, regularly fetching tens of thousands at auction, depending on rarity.
We have of course waxed lyrical about numerous sports on the site over the years, from ever popular sports like football and horse racing, to those more attuned to the big event like athletics (in the context of the Olympics etc). Of course most of us watch these events for a love of the sport, the effort it takes to get to the top, and the competitive nature of teams taking on one another to see who has what it takes. There can be no better example of that of late than the Euros. It was edge of your seat stuff especially when it got to the knock out stages.
For some though, watching their favourite sport is just one component of the excitement. Take the euros for instance, tens of millions of pounds was gambled on the event, spread out across such areas as who will be he eventual winner, who will top their group, various head to heads, total corners, total cards, full-time – half-time results, over / under bets, the list goes on. Such is the variety of approaches to betting, and exciting number of possibilities that just about anything you can think of can be bet on.
And it’s not just Europe where this takes place. Sports betting state-side is taking off big time in recent years. Various state laws involving restrictions on sport betting are falling by the wayside, and Americans are enjoying the same online sports betting freedoms that many outside of the US have taken for granted for many years now. It’s now possible in the US for instance to find out the best PA betting sites (being that Pennsylvania is a state that adds a certain ease to online sports betting) at the click of a button then go from there.
There is certainly something too, to be said for separating the good from the bad when deciding where to place your bet. The best thing about the Internet is that if you have your wits about you and follow trusted sites and reviews it won’t take you long at all to get a feel of which websites are fully legitimate and offer a large degree of ease of use for customers. When you’re in the mood to place a bet – which often in the US involves betting on sports like American football, basketball, baseball and so on – the last thing you want is complications. So knowing that you’re betting via a tried, tested and trusted site should be way up there in your thoughts.
Of course another plus of doing your homework is to narrow down the best betting bonuses and incentives. Many sites are vying for your custom and as such they don’t shy away from offering what you could call ‘free money’ (though sometimes with strings so be sure to read the terms and conditions) . Winning and losing is often a matter of fine margins and so initially tipping the scale a little in your own favour as you place your bets can’t be a bad thing!
One of the most anticipated race weekends of England’s summer season will be headlined by the 2021 Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday, August 19.
The winner of this year’s race will earn more than £220,000 in prize money, and Aidan O’Brien star Love looking to become the Yorkshire Oaks’ first back-to-back winner since 2002-03.
The defending champion may not be the favourite, however, considering another of O’Brien’s top fillies, Snowfall, is in frame to lead his list of contenders at the York meet.
SportQuestion.com dissects a selection of the leading horses likely to challenge for the top prize in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, including one veteran who’s yet to race thus far in 2021.
Enable became the most recent horse to win the Yorkshire Oaks on two occasions following victories in 2017 and 2019, and Snowfall can spoil Love’s party if the 4/7 favourite succeeds at York.
Trainer Mathew Dawson’s record of nine Yorkshire Oaks victories may never be beaten, but O’Brien is at least climbing closer in the stakes as he eyes his sixth triumph in this race.
And Snowfall could be just the horse to do it after she’s won all three of her races so far in 2021, including her most recent success in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July:
The BBC quoted O’Brien following that result when he praised Snowfall as “very smart and she has a lot of quality,” and it’s difficult to disagree as she seeks to join her stable-mate in winning this race.
Next in line according to the horse racing experts is Love, a 4/1 shot who could be worth a gamble at those odds considering she’s already tasted Group 1 success at York in the past year.
In fact, it will be almost 12 months to the day since Ryan Moore rode Love to victory in the 2020 Yorkshire Oaks, where she demolished the field to finish five lengths clear of Alpinista.
While there’s sure to be a lot of bookmaker money going towards the clear favourite Snowfall, there’s rarely an occasions where the progeny of legendary Galileo should be overlooked.
Rounding the selection of top fillies likely to challenge for this particular crown, Tarnawa returns to British shores after touring France and the United States during the second half of 2021.
It was a hugely successful jaunt, too, as the five-year-old finished 2020 with a perfect four wins from four, with the last of those coming in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland in November: