Olympic fever has taken hold of the world! Since the spectacle that was the opening ceremonies on July 27, fans have been glued to their televisions for what seems like round-the-clock coverage of this year's games. Is your family among those fans?
The Summer Olympics take place every four years and now through August 12, athletes from more than 200 countries will compete for the gold. The Olympics date back to 775 B.C. In the first Olympics, held in Greece, there was only one event: the foot race. These Ancient Olympic Games were celebrated until 396 AD. The 2012 games are in London and will have 302 events in 26 sports. This year's games are the 30th since the Olympics were brought back in the late 19th century.
What is it about the Olympics that captures our kids' imaginations like no other sporting event can?
To begin with, there is something for everyone: amazing displays of speed, strength, grace, and agility (sometimes all at the same time). With sports ranging from water polo to archery, basketball to badminton, there is surely something your kids will love to watch. Everyone knows that swimming, gymnastics, and volleyball are Olympic sports, but did you know that the Olympiad also includes canoeing, trampoline, and taekwondo? This range of sports means that spectators can see what they already love or discover something new.
Second, many of the athletes are so young that our kids watching at home can relate to them. They can watch these amazing feats of athleticism and imagine themselves spinning through the air, sliding through the water, standing on that podium while a medal is draped around their neck. Citius, Altius, Fortius, indeed!
Finally, the Olympics represent a coming together of countries unlike anything else. The games are rooted in the belief that sport can serve to build a peaceful world and bring different people from different places together to compete without discrimination and with a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play. For two weeks every four years, the world is united in rooting for these athletes.
In the coming days, we'll share with you our ideas for making the most of the London 2012 Olympic games with your family.
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