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January 30, 2002
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The first Winter Olympic Games took place in Chamonix, France in 1924 with sixteen nations participating in thirteen events in five sports. This year in Park City, Utah (from February 8 to February 24) there will be athletes from at least eighty nations competing in eighty events in fifteen sports. The Paralympic Winter Games (http://www.paralympic.org/) will follow, running from March 7 to March 16. Let the snow fly!
The five interlacing rings of blue, yellow, black, green, and red became the official Olympic logo in 1913. “The Olympic rings represent the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes throughout the world at the Olympic Games. However, contrary to a popular misconception, the colors themselves do not represent any single continent. The colors were chosen because at least one of these colors is found in the flag of every nation.” Chock full of historical tidbits, this concise site is great place to find answers to your Olympic questions.
The Education Department of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games provides an amazing 140-page guide for K-6 educators and students. Teachers will love the Lesson Plans and Worksheets. Students researching school reports will enjoy the Fact Sheets and Questions & Answers. Everything at REACH is in Adobe Acrobat (great for both viewing on your computer and printing) so pick up the free Acrobat Reader before you visit (http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
“Were the ancient games better than ours? More fair and square? More about sports and less about money? Are modern games more sexist? More political? Have we strayed from the ancient Olympic ideal? Read on and decide for yourself.” There is much talk of how commercial today’s Olympic games are. Where the ancient games purer? The conclusion drawn by this expert from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology may surprise you.
The Official Site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games has it all: event schedules sorted by sport or day, virtual venue tours, official merchandise, and a kids’ game section (hidden under Games Programs.) For the kind of behind-the-scenes reporting that works so well on the Web, go for the feature stories. From the front page, you’ll find in-depth articles about the athletes and their sports listed under Highlights, Features, Athlete’s Voice and Athlete’s Bios.
The fourth grade class at Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, New York has created a fabulous Winter Olympics site. The students studied the Winter Olympics, and created two slide shows: one about the history of the winter games, and other about the winter sports. My favorite clicks are the two Olympic Cyberhunts with fill-in the blank questions and URLs to explore for answers. Another fun section is Activities, where you’ll find links to dozens of online Olympic games.