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February 12, 2010

Let The Games Begin - Olympics 2010

The Winter Olympics are upon us again. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is hosting the 2010 Olympics.

In spite of warmer than usual weather, the ancient sports tradition carries on.

The Olympics, of course, originate in Greece. According to legend, the ancient Olympic Games were founded by Heracles (the Roman diety), a son of Zeus. The first Olympic Games for which we still have written records were held in 776 BCE...

...though it is generally believed that the Games had been going on for many years before that date.

The ancient Olympic Games expanded and continued to be played every four years for nearly 1200 years. In 393 CE, the Roman emperor Theodosius I abolished the Games because of their pagan influences.

Approximately 1500 years later, a young French nobleman named Pierre de Coubertin attempted to revive this cross-national sporting competition.

At a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques in Paris on November 25, 1892, Coubertin urged his compatriots to restore the Olympics with these words;

"Let us export our oarsmen, our runners, our fencers into other lands. That is the true Free Trade of the future; and the day it is introduced into Europe the cause of Peace will have received a new and strong ally."

The first modern Olympic Games opened in Athens, Greece, the first week of April 1896. Ever since then, the Olympics have grown into a massive international series with entries from all over the world.

To follow the 2010 Olympics take a look at http://www.nbcolympics.com/. You can find the details on the athletes and the schedules as well as a variety of trivia related to the Games.

To resolve any arguments on winter medals, take a look at http://www.nbcolympics.com/medals/all-time-standings/index.html.

I love the Olympics for a variety of reasons. Astonishing human achievement is one attraction, cheering on national teams from around the world is always exciting - especially when the team is unexpected - like the Jamaican bobsled team.

The Jamaican four-man bobsled team debuted in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Even though they crashed, they were the hit of the Games (and even inspired the film "Cool Runnings"). For more on the Jamaican bobsled team, click here http://www.jambob.com/.

The Olympic Games serve to bring us together on the field, against the elements and up against the players of the past.

If nothing else, the Games prove that we can work together, no matter where we come from or what we believe.

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.

Morf

About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at February 12, 2010 09:47 PM

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