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Friday Fun Facts: Summer Olympic Games

August 8, 2008
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The opening ceremonies for the 2008 Olympic Games will be held tonight. Over 10,000 athletes from 202 countries will participate in 302 events. Volunteers are expected to number 70,000, and it’s estimated that 4.8 million tourists will visit Beijing in 2008.

According to the U.S. Olympic Committee (www.usoc.org), “The Olympic symbol – five interlocking rings – represents the union of the five original major continents (Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe) and the meeting of the athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games. The five colors of the rings from left to right are blue, black and red across the top, and yellow and green along the bottom. The colors of the rings are thought to have been chosen because at least one of these colors can be found in the flag of every nation.

On the podium, medals are presented to the first-, second- and third-place finishers. Olympic medals must be at least 66 mm in diameter and at least 3 mm thick. Gold and silver medals must be made of 92.5% pure silver; the gold medal must be gilded with at least 6 grams of gold. The design of the medals is the responsibility of the host city’s organizing committee.”

Olympic Creed: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not the 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.”
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