Monday, July 28, 2008

The Olympics are Just Around the Corner...

The Olympics start August 8th in Beijing, China. I've always loved watching the Olympics. This year's Olympics will take on new meaning as my daughter is a team gymnast and is so looking forward to watching the gymnasts compete at that level.

With that said, I thought it appropriate to teach her, along with my son, the history of the Olympics and why they are such a big deal. Just this year Usborne came out with a great book on the Olympics - The Story of the Olympics. This book is part of Usborne's Reading Series 2 Gift Book set, and is recommended for ages 7 and up. I'll shed some light on this book. Over the next couple of days, I'll share other Olympic info found in Usborne Books so you can teach your kids about the Olympics too.

Last night we read the first three chapters which are on the ancient games. There was quite a bit of info that I didn't even know. I'm getting so much smarter teaching my kids all this stuff. Anyway, I had no idea that during the ancient games they competed naked. One thing Usborne is known for is their accuracy, so some of the pictures do have cartoonish drawings with the backs of naked people - but it's very tastefully done and I didn't even get any wise cracks from my kids about it (sorry, no pun intended).

The rest of the book goes over the modern games. My son found it quite fascinating, and I thought it interesting to learn that the current length of the marathon race was changed to 26 miles and 385 yards because King Eward XII and Queen Alexandria wanted to watch the beginning of the race from Windsor Castle. I personally would have preferred to have watched the end of the race. Oh well, that does explain, however, the odd length for the marathon.

The Story of the Olympics is an internet-linked book. Here are a couple of the links you will find in this book:

Ancient Games This is a neat, animated site where kids follow two Greek guides through the ancient games.

Modern Games Learn about all the sports in the summer games from animated guides. Click on this site - words don't do it justice.

There is such interesting information about the Olympics in this book. If you know some other interesting tidbits about the Olympics please share!
Happy Olympics! Kristie

PS - Don't forget to go down to the Free Book Give Away post below to enter to win a free Usborne book!


TheFLy said...

So, I figured my last comment probably wasn't appropriate, hehe. So, I thought I'd take another shot.

The Olympics are always fun to watch. But did you know that the last Olympic gold medals that were made entirely out of gold were awarded in 1912.

Also, that thing about the nude also got me thinking about another interesting fact. The word "gymnasium" comes from the Greek root "gymnos" meaning nude; the literal meaning of "gymnasium" is "school for naked exercise." Athletes in the ancient Olympic Games would participate in the nude.

Interesting, huh.

buzz buzz

Zombie Money said...
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