Saturday, August 9, 2008
Let the Olympic Games Begin!
What a night! That was the most spectacular opening ceremonies I can remember of the Olympic Games. My goodness, the Greeks from thousands of years ago, who first started the Olympics, would be amazed to see what the games have become.
I remember many past Olympics. I remember watching Mark Spitz win his unprecedented 7 gold medals at the '72 Munich games. Those are the first Olympics I remember ever watching. I was quite bored at the time, but remember the hype and hoopla. Because of that hype and hoopla I remember it very clearly. I also remember when Nadia Comaneci won all her gold medals with her perfect 10s. I didn't actually watch her win, but I had a friend who was a gymnast and she did not let me NOT know about it! Now that I have a gymnast (my little girl) herself, she fills me in on all the gymnasts.
Tonight's opening ceremony was great. We had gone through all the Usborne books that I had mentioned below, and the kids enjoyed knowing what the Olympics really were about. Because I had taught them about it before they started, they understood what the big deal was. They had a blast calling out the countries and shouting out what continent they were from. I was quite proud that they were probably about 95% right!
A couple things we learned during the opening ceremonies:
1. Andora only has 72,000 people in their country. That is less than is in our whole town!
2. Tuvalu is an island nation of only 12,000.
3. Most of the countries flag carriers were track and field athletes. (something my kids kept track of)
4. Brazil, the home of Pele, has never won a gold medal in men's or women's scoccer.
5. Niger has one athlete. A swimmer. He got to be the flag bearer.
6. Lesoto is a country totally surrounded by S. Africa.
7. Ireland has the fastest growing population in Europe.
8. Gambia is the smallest country in Aftrica.
9. The Prime Minister of Japan is entered in the Equestrian events.
10. The Equestrian events are being held in Hong Kong, a 4 hour flight from Beijing.
11. The US has 648 athlletes in the Olympics. (we had a family bet on how many athletes the US has, my daughter won.)
Enjoy the Olympics with your kids. You are building memories for a lifetime together with them.