Beijing Olympics 2008
Come 8 August will see the official opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Yes, 18 days to go. In the comfort of my lazy arm-chair and yes, remote control in my hand, I will be glued to ‘The Box’ for two and a half weeks and nothing will come between us (except nature). I wish. There’s work and a travel guide (ehem) and other obligations in my urgent and priority list now.
Luckily, Beijing is in the same time zone with Brunei so it will be easier to catch the live events (even at work). Top on the list would definitely be the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, swimming, gymnastics; whoah, hold on, all of them!
From the recent local news report, I gathered that Brunei would be represented in swimming and shot putt. Brunei, the report said, is receiving funds from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under its Olympic Solidarity programme to help these athletes for training. The country has been sending athletes to compete in every Olympic Games since 1996 and none has ever won any Olympic medal.
So this year, Maria, our Swimming Pool Queen (at only 15-years of age) and 20-year old Yazid in the shot putt whose recent success was a bronze at the SEA Games in Korat are representing Brunei. Whatever the results are, I sincerely wish both of them the very best and enjoy the experience.
Here are some interesting facts about the XXIX Olympiad:
- More than 10,000 athletes will compete for 300 gold medals in 28 different sports
- China has spent an estimated $40billion on Beijing’s pre-Olympic makeover
- The National Stadium, dubbed, the ‘Bird’s Nest’ features 42,000 tonnes of twisted steel
- Around 120 heads of state will visit Beijing for the Games
- Around 4,000 athletes will attend the Paralympics in September to compete in 20 sports.
- The first modern Olympic era was held in 1896 in Athens, the birthplace of the Olympics.
- Every emblem of the Olympics tells a story. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games emblem “Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing” is filled with Beijing’s hospitality and hopes, and carries the city’s commitment to the world.
Theme slogan:”One World One Dream” expresses the common wishes of people all over the world, inspired by the Olympic ideals, to strive for a bright future of Mankind. In spite of the differences in colors, languages and races, we share the charm and joy of the Olympic Games, and together we seek for the ideal of Mankind for peace.
The official mascots: Like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their color and inspiration, Fuwa will serve as the Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and peace — and good wishes from China — to children all over the world.
Designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends, Fuwa also embody the natural characteristics of four of China’s most popular animals — the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow — and the Olympic Flame.
The medal: The Beijing 2008 Olympic medal is designed with inspiration coming from “bi”, China’s ancient jade piece inscribed with dragon pattern.
The torch: The Beijing Olympic Torch boasts strong Chinese characteristics, and showcases Chinese design and technical capabilities. The torch is 72 centimetres high, weighs 980 grams and is made of aluminium. The torch is of a curved surface form, with etching and anodizing being used during its production.
A torch can usually keep burning for approximately 20 minutes in conditions where the flame is 25 to 30 centimetres high in a windless environment. The torch has been produced to withstand winds of up to 65 kilometres per hour and to stay alight in rain up to 50mm an hour. The flame can be identified and photographed in sunshine and areas of extreme brightness. The fuel is propane which is in accordance with environmental guidelines. The material of its form is recyclable.
Find out more from the Beijing Olympics 2008 official website.