For the first time in modern Olympic history, the number of athletes breached the 5,000 mark as 5,338 competitors from a then-record 83 countries gathered in Rome in 1960 for the Games of the XVIIth Olympiad. The Soviet Union won the overall medal race over archrival United States, copping 43 golds to the Americans’ 34, but it was an American boxer who made his mark in these Games. Cassius Clay won the light-heavyweight gold medal, and later changed his name to Muhammad Ali after winning the heavyweight title. The young Louisville native, though, misplaced his gold medal, although the circumstances surrounding the disappearance remain unclear. Supposedly Clay threw his gold medal into a river after he was refused entry in a “whites-only”restaurant. Another account says he simply lost it. Whatever the real story, he would be awarded a replacement medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games, where he lit the Olympic cauldron. (Source: Olympic.org)
Editor's Note: To celebrate the 100-day countdown to the London Games, we will be publishing 100 tidbits about the Olympics. Come back to Yahoo! PH Sports, as we publish a new tidbit everyday.