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News in Youth Services

Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 Summer Olympics

On August 5th through the 21st, the 2016 Summer Olympics begins in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Over 8,000 athletics representing 207 countries will be competing in the summer Olympics.  Twenty-eight different sports will be played this summer including:  archery, traditional athletics, boxing, canoeing/kayaking, cycling, diving, equestrian, football (soccer), golf, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, sailing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling, swimming, fencing, gymnastics, badminton, basketball, volleyball and rugby.
I thought it might be fun to share a bit of history about the Olympics, so here it goes...

  • The modern Olympic Games were revived in 1859 by a Greek-Romanian man named Evangelis Zappas and were held in Athens.
  • The International Olympic Committee was created in 1890. 
  • The 1896 Olympics hosted 14 nations, 241 athletes and 43 different events.
  • The first event of the Olympics is the Opening Ceremony.  The ceremony begins with the host country's flag and national anthem followed by a performance that represents the host country's culture.  Athletes, grouped by their country walk in a parade and the torch is passed between athletes to light the Olympic cauldron.
  • The final event of the Olympics is called the closing ceremony.  All the flags of all the
    countries are brought in followed by the athletes.  Three flags - one for Greece, the host country and the next host country) are hoisted and the national anthems for each are played, a speech is given and the Olympic torch is extinguished.
  • The five colorful rings represent the five inhabited continents (America, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe).  They are linked together to show unity.  The color of the rings are blue, yellow, black, green and red because every country has at least one of these colors in its national flag.
  • The Olympics have a Motto and Creed.  The motto is in Latin, "Citius, Altius, Fortius" which means "faster, higher, stronger."  The creed says, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.  The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." 
Hopefully you learned something new about the Olympics from these fun facts and will enjoy cheering on your favorite athletes and countries as they compete to be the best in the world.

Olympic Bibliographies
Olympic Nonfiction books
2016 Olympic website
NBC Olympic website


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