Beijing, the capital of China, is located in the northern section of the country. For more geographical information, please see the map below, provided by The CIA Fact Book. The official web site for the Beijing Olympics is en.beijing2008.cn/, and the official web site of the Olympic Movement is www.olympic.org. Each of these web sites provides a countdown to the opening ceremonies (as of May 15 there are 85 days to go!), a history of the Olympic games, world Olympic records, past and future Olympics host countries, and much more.
Athletes will compete this year at 31 venues all over Beijing, including the newly built National Stadium on the Olympic Green (click here for more information and pictures of the new stadium). There are six additional venues located outside of Beijing. The city is expecting about 10,500 athletes from all over the world to compete in 28 different summer sports, including: aquatics (swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo), archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoe (kayak flatwater and kayak slalom), cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, and trampoline), handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, table tennis, tae kwon do, tennis, triathlon, volleyball (and beach volleyball), weightlifting and wrestling.
Each Olympic Game host determines a new emblem, slogan, mascots, and torch relay logo. Below is some information about each of these representations of the 2008 Olympics.
Emblem: This year's emblem is called "Chinese Seal-Dancing Beijing." You can view this emblem at the official Beijing Olympics website. Here is some information from the official Olympic movement web site about the emblem: “The emblem cleverly combines the Chinese seal and the art of calligraphy with sporting features, transforming the elements into a human figure running forward and embracing triumph. The figure resembles the Chinese character "Jing", which stands for the name of the host city and represents a particularly significant Chinese style. The artwork embodies four messages: Chinese culture, the color of red China, Beijing welcomes friends from all over the world, and to challenge the extreme and achieve the perfect and promote the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger).”
Slogan: The slogan of the Beijing Olympics is “One World One Dream.” This slogan was selected to describe the spirit of unity embodied in the Olympics. Despite differences, the hope is that people from around the world will come together at these games in search of peace and a brighter future.
Mascots: Collectively, the official mascots of the Beijing Olympics are named “Fuwa.” Each Fuwa represents the color of an Olympic ring. Their names and characteristics are as follows: Beibei (fish), Jingjing (panda), Huanhuan (Olympic Flame), Yingying (Tibetan antelope) and Nini (swallow). Together their names are Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni (or “Welcome to Beijing ”). You can see the Fuwa on the official Beijing Olympics website here.
Logo of the Torch Relay: This logo can also be seen on the Beijing Olympics official web site. It draws on an ancient Chinese legend of the good fortune brought by the phoenix. According to the web site, “the use of the phoenix image in the Torch Relay logo conveys the idea that the Torch Relay will send the best wishes from the Beijing Olympic Games to people all over China and the rest of the world.”
In order to help people all over the world follow along with the Olympic torch relay, Google has put together a new tool using Google Maps. By visiting this link, you can see the current location of the torch, and get information about and pictures of that location. The torch has already been all over the world, and is now visiting cities and provinces throughout China. This is a helpful tool for students of all ages to familiarize themselves with geography and stay up-to-date with the relay. The Beijing Olympic site also provides a detailed schedule, with photos and videos of the completed routes: http://torchrelay.beijing2008.cn/en/journey/.
Finally, the Olympic Movement Web site has a section dedicated specifically to teachers, which can be found at: www.olympic.org/uk/passion/studies/educational/index_uk.asp. Under “Current Programmes,” there is an “educational kit” available to download as a pdf. This resource is very extensive and informative. It includes information about the Beijing Olympics and its impact on the city. It also offers information about the Chinese language, food, culture, history, environment, and the economy, and how the Olympics will impact these elements. Finally, it includes lesson plans and student worksheets which can be used in the classroom.
Education World - www.education-world.com/a_lesson/lesson099.shtml
Mr. Donn's Lesson Plans on China - k12east.mrdonn.org/China.html
Resources for Teaching about China 's Transformation on the Eve of the Olympics - www.colorado.edu/cas/tea/ccss/ccss.html
Visit Beijing - english.visitbeijing.com.cn/
A to Z Teacher Stuff: Olympics - www.atozteacherstuff.com/Themes/Olympics/
The Ancient Olympics - www.perseus.tufts.edu/Olympics/
BBC: Ancient Greece - www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ancientgreece/teachers/lesson.shtml
Education World - www.education-world.com/a_sites/sites047.shtml
The Lesson Plans Page - www.lessonplanspage.com/Olympics.htm
Microsoft: The Olympic Games - www.microsoft.com/education/olympics.mspx
Mr. Donn's Lesson Plans on Ancient Greek Olympics - members.aol.com/MrDonnUnits/GreekOlympics.html
Olympic History - en.beijing2008.cn/75/68/column211716875.shtml
Olympic Q&A - en.beijing2008.cn/quiz/
OzProjects - www.ozprojects.edu.au/course/view.php?id=20
Shambles - www.shambles.net/pages/students/Olympics/
U.S. Olympic Academy - www.usolympicteam.com/12683.htm
Wikipedia: Bidding Process - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Summer_Olympics_bids
BBC Sport - news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics/default.stm
EIN News: Inside China Today - www.einnews.com/china/newsfeed-china-olympics
Official Beijing Olympics Web site- en.beijing2008.cn/news/
Official Web site of the Beijing 2008 Torch Relay - torchrelay.beijing2008.cn
Official Web site of the Olympic Movement – www.olympic.org
U.S. Olympic Team - www.usolympicteam.com/
1.) Olympic sites are chosen several years in advance ( Beijing was chosen as the 2008 Summer Olympics site by the Olympic Commission in 2001!) The future sites which have already been determined are:
2.) The first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens in 1896.
3.) Women were first able to compete in the Olympics in 1900.
4.) The Olympic Games were cancelled in 1916, 1940, and 1944 due to World Wars I and II.
5.) Previous Olympic Locations include:
Olympic Summer Games:
Olympic Winter Games:
Education around the World
The importance of a good teacher: A lively class in China. World Teachers' Day (5 Oct) is an occasion to remember that teachers are at the heart of the education process.
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