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.


Alison said...

I agree, what a fantastic spectacle the opening ceremony was. We had recorded the whole thing on Tivo and it took us until after lunch Saturday to get through it all; my two kids would not let me skip a single minute!

We're not a big sports family, but even so we're struggling to get much else done with the variety of events we want to check out and all the hours of coverage every day. It's turning into a marathon couch potato event around here! I may get tired of it and head off to do some exercise :-)

Sapphire said...

I haven't watched the Olympics at all. I heard my country Canada hasn't won one medal at this Olympics so far. We haven't even come close. Oh well we tend to shine more at the Winter Olympics where at least we win some medals. :-)