The Olympics

I want to be in the

Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). To an Olympic athlete, these three words remind them to give his or her best during competition, knowing that their effort is a victory in itself.

It’s time again for the Olympic Games! The XXIX Olympiad begins in Beijing, China, on 08-08-08. Here are some links related to this amazing international celebration



What’s the weather like — right now — in Beijing, China, where the Olympics will take place this summer (2008)?

Can’t get to China? You can online! Visit http://en.beijing2008.cn/ and you can find the current weather, time, and other facts about this year’s summer games. You can download your own screensaver or wallpaper, and see photos of some of the athletes who will be participating, like US Sprinter Tyson Gay, at http://photo.beijing2008.cn/en.




When and where were the first Olympics?

See http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/greeks/games/olympics.htm. Athens, Greece, was host to the first modern Olympic Summer Games in 1896. The first games were held in ancient Greece in 776 B.C. to honor the Greek gods. Find out more how the ancient games also marked a period of peace for the often warring Greeks. (This site has advertising.)






What do the five interlocking rings mean?

According to http://www.janecky.com/olympics/rings.html, the five rings represent the five major regions of the world: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The five colors of the rings, which always appear in the same order, are, from top to bottom and left to right: blue, black, red, yellow and green.




How do Olympic torches work, travel and stay lit?

At http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/olympic-torch6.htm, you learn that the torch symbolizes spirit, knowledge and life. It is delivered from Greece to the host country, and must stay lit the entire way! It all starts in Olympia (Greece), where a flame is ignited by the sun rays reflected off a curved mirror, and then kept burning until the closing of the Olympic Games. Women dressed in robes, resembling those worn in ancient times, light the flame and pass the torch to the first runner in the Olympic Torch relay that ends in the host country (this year, China). (This site has advertising).






Which athlete won the most gold medals?

See http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/09/22/LV47585.DTL, and you’ll learn that USA speed skater Eric Heiden won five individual (not team) gold medals during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, NY. Twenty-eight years later, no one has matched or beaten that record. Today, Eric, or Dr. Heiden, is an orthopedic surgeon who lives in California.





Is there a list of all Olympic medalists from over the years?

Yes. See http://www.olympicgameswinners.com/#, and you can research all the medal winners of each Olympiad.






True or False: Tug-of-War used to be an Olympic Sport.

True. Visit http://www.olympic.org/uk/sports/index_uk.asp where you can see a list of all of the games that are played at the Olympics, as well as those that were phased out, like the tug-of-war. If you have the time, keep poking around on this site. There’s a lot to explore.


Filed in: History, Sports

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