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The 2008 Beijing Olympics Logo

The 2008 Beijing Olympics Logo

The 2008 Summer Olympic games will take place in Beijing, China, making it a fitting time to write about the Olympics.

Beijing got the Summer Olympic games July 13, 2001, during the 112 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Moscow beating Toronto, Paris, Istanbul and Osaka. It was a great victory for China, their vice premier of China, Li Lanqing, declared: “The winning of the 2008 Olympic bid is an example of the international recognition of China’s social stability, economic progress and the healthy life of the Chinese people.”

In preparation of the Olympic games, Beijing’s subway system had undergone a massive increase, more than doubling it’s previous size. Also, the Beijing Capital International Airport will get a new five-level emergency alert system for extreme weather and security threats. Whoa.

The slogan for the 2008 Olympics is “One World, One Dream”, which calls upon the whole world to join in the Olympic spirit and build a better future for humanity. It was selected from over 210,000 entries submitted from all over the world.

There has been some controversy over how China has been treating Tibet and this has spilled over into the Beijing Olympics. In fact, some supporters of Tibet have declared that they would boycott the 2008 Summer Olympics games in protest.

Nevertheless, the games will carry on. Here are the sports to be contested at the Beijing games, with the number of events to be contested in each sport is indicated in parentheses.

* Aquatics

* Diving (8 )

* Swimming (34)

* Synchronized swimming (2)

* Water polo (2)

* Archery (4)

* Athletics (47)

* Badminton (5)

* Baseball (1)

* Basketball (2)

* Boxing (11)

* Canoeing (16)

* Cycling (18 )

* Equestrian (6)

* Fencing (10)

* Field hockey (2)

* Football (2)

* Gymnastics (18 )

* Handball (2)

* Judo (14)

* Modern pentathlon (2)

* Rowing (14)

* Sailing (11)

* Shooting (15)

* Softball (1)

* Table tennis (4)

* Taekwondo (8 )

* Tennis (4)

* Triathlon (2)

* Volleyball (4)

* Weightlifting (15)

* Wrestling (18 )

The 411 on the Olympics

In anticipation of the upcoming Olympics, it is natural that some background on the games will be brought up and written about. So isn’t it only fitting that I write about it too?

The Olympics originated in ancient Greece. It was held every fourth year, like the modern Olympics. But with a few twists. Women were not allowed to compete if they were married nor could they compete personally, but were allowed to enter equestrian events as the owner of a chariot team or an individual horse, and win that way. Oh, and the other thing? All the participants were naked.

But fortunately (or unfortunately) the Olympics were abolished in the early Christian era, along with the naked-ness.

The Ancient Olympics - Not quite naked yet

The Ancient Olympics - Not quite naked yet

The Olympics were brought back in 1850, in the modest town of Much Wenlock, Shropshire by Doctor William Penny Brookes. He believed the men of the town spent far too much time in the pub and came up with the modern Olympics to occupy their time. Though the Olympics hasn’t helped the modern day men who still spend far too much time in the pub.

Doctor Brookes founded the National Olympics Foundation in 1865 and staged the first Olympics at London’s Crystal Palace. However, it was snubbed by the top sportsmen for lack of funding.

The modern Olympics was revived in Athens, Greece by a French man called Pierre de Coubertin.

Around that time, the world was starting to communicate and connect through telegraph and train. Also, the athletes from different countries were starting challenge each other. And so, de Coubertin thought it would be a good idea to get all the different countries to compete and that is why he revived the Olympics.

The Olympics Revived

The modern day Olympics were started again in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and they continued to be held every fourth year. However, they were not held during the World Wars 1 and 2.

The Olympic Games was not without its fair share of drama. In the 1972 Munich games, 11 members of the Israeli team were taken hostage by a terrorist group called Black September. Five German snipers were chosen to rescue them, but they failed. All 11 hostages died, along with 1 German police officer. The 1972 Munich games came to be known as the Munich Massacre.

There used to be two Olympics in the same year, the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics, both held separately. But in 1986, the IOC decided to reschedule the Summer and Winter Games by alternating between them every 2 years: each would still be held in four-year cycles, but two years apart from one another.

The Lillehammer Games in 1994 were the first Winter Olympics to be held without the Summer Games in the same year; in a non-leap, even year.

It has been decided that the 2010 Winter games will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; the 2012 Summer games in London, United Kingdom; and the 2014 Winter games in Sochi, Russia.

The opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing will be held in the Beijing National Stadium, and will begin at 8:00 pm CST (12:00 UTC) on 8 August 2008. It has been announced that Canada’s Celine Dion and Taiwan’s Jay Chou will both perform during the opening ceremony.

On July 21, NBC announced that the Opening Ceremony would include performances by a cast of 15,000 and declared that it would be the most spectacular Olympics Opening Ceremony ever produced.

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