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Olympic cycling brush-up quiz

January 25, 2012

Iris reticulata blooms about the same time as crocus

The end of January approaches, and the road racing season is coming to life.

The Santos Tour Down Under and the Vuelta a Tachira concluded on Sunday, while an exciting field currently climbs to Miradors (Spanish for viewpoint) and dodges hail this week in the Tour de San Luis. Soon the first crocus will push above ground seeking sun alongside perfumy hyacinth; spring classic after spring classic will tumble from televisions, magazines, and computer screens. The Giro, June stage races, and Tour de France follow soon after, leaving little room for anything else to occupy cycling fans’ attention.

So now is the best time to dig into upcoming Olympic cycling events and developing news and study up on prior Olympic history so you won’t feel left behind when the athletic drama and achievement of this once-every-four-year event arrives in August. Get started with this short quiz a.k.a. Olympic cycling primer. The key awaits below the questions.

2008 Olympics

1.  In which cycling discipline did the U.S. win the most / least medals in 2008?

  • Road
  • Mountain
  • Track
  • BMX

2.  Which cycling event was a new Olympic event in 2008?

3.  Which cyclist won the most medals at the 2008 Olympics?

  • Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
  • Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
  • Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
  • Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)

Looking back

4.  Which male American cyclist has attended the most Olympic Games up to 2008?

  • Leonard Harvey Nitz
  • Wayne Stetina
  • George Hincapie

5.  Which female American cyclist has attended the most Olympic Games up to 2008?

  • Erin Wesley Hartwell
  • Rebecca Twig
  • Connie Anne Paraskevin-Young
  • Inga Thompson

Looking ahead

6.  Which is a new Olympic cycling event in 2012?

  • Women’s team pursuit (track event)
  • Team time trial
  • Omnium (track event)

Artist’s rendering of London Velodrome (from london2012.com)

Key:

1. Most — BMX. The U.S. took home three medals, one Silver and two Bronze in BMX. No track or mountain event medals went home with U.S. cyclists.

2. BMX.

3. Chris Hoy. He won three gold medals in track events, the first British athlete to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games since 1908.

4. Hincapie is a five-time Olympic athlete, named to the games in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. (Source: USA Cycling)

5. A bit of a trick question. Erin Hartwell is a man; he won Silver and Bronze medals in track events in 1992 and 1996. The remaining three ladies each participated in three Olympic games: Rebecca Twig in 1984, 1992, and 1996; Connie Anne Paraskevin-Young in 1988, 1992, and 1996; and Inga Thompson in 1984, 1988, and 1992. (Source: USA Cycling)

6. Both the women’s team pursuit and omnium (men and women) are new events for 2012.

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