The Olympics: Golden Dreams and Grander Achievements
From August 8th to the 24th, thousands of athletes will gather in Beijing, People's Republic of China, to become "One World, One Dream."
The ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 B.C. They took place in Olympia and continued for nearly 12 centuries, until 393 A.D. I do look forward to watching the XXIX Olympic Games, but I will admit that I am always more interested in the Winter Olympics.
Olympians dream not only of accomplishing great sporting feats, they also hope to be remembered for their achievements, like those who went before them. I thought I'd post some memorable golden moments of Olympian achievements:
American, Jesse Owens upset Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler during the 1936 Berlin Olympics by individually winning four gold medals and helping his teammates soundly defeat the German track and field team.
In 1976, standing tall at just 4 feet, 11 inches, Romania's Nadia Comaneci become the first Olympian to score a perfect 10 in a gymnastics event.
Durning the 1980 Lake Placid, N.Y. Winter Olympics, after beating the favored Russians early in the games (an event dubbed the "Miracle on Ice"), the tough and determined U.S. hockey team went on to win the gold- and the hearts of America.
Their sunny disposition proved no match for the ice, but the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team did have something equally as important- the Olympian Spirit.
Pierre de Coubertin re-established the Olympic games in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Coubertin is considered "the father of the modern Olympics." Pierre de Coubertin was quoted saying, "The Olympic Games are not just ordinary world championships, but a quadrennial festival of universal youth...celebrated by each succeeding generation as it arrives on the threshold of adulthood." The 1896 games had 241 participants, as compared to the 2004 Summer Games, which had 10,625 athletes participating.
The last Olympic gold medals that were made entirely of gold were awarded in 1912. The symbolic five rings represent the five inhabited continents (combining both the Americas). At least one of the flag's six colors can be found on all the national flags of the world.
The Olympic Games were canceled in 1916 due to World War I. In 1940 and 1944 the games were canceled due to the Second World War.
Other Olmypic Quotes, wit and wisedom:
"When the athletes come to the Olympic Games, it is rarely about the muscles anymore. It is all about the muscles between the ears."
"Our world today is in need of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. The values of the Olympic Games can deliver these to us."
"The Olympic movement is a 20th century religion, where there is no injustice of caste, of race, of family, of wealth."