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Introducing the Beijing Olympics

Aug 8, 2008, 6:43 AM

The Olympics are due to kick-off in Beijing in The Peoples Republic of China later on today.

This paper will be bringing you updates of the competition as it progresses from the opening to the closing ceremonies.

The Olympics is recognised as the largest, most comprehensive sporting event in the world. It is known to showcase a lustrous compendium of sporting activities divided into track and field events. Increasingly, off-track events are being added to the traditional package of 200 years ago including beach volleyball, tennis, sailing and even football. Since the first modern games in Athens Greece, in 1896, the event has been staged every four years except in the cases of 1916, 1940 and 1944 while the World Wars raged. It was not until 1964 that the games were held in Asia for the first time in Tokyo Japan. Beijing will mark the third time that the games will have been held in Asia, the second time being in 1988 in Seoul South Korea.

The games have not always gone without marring incidents. In 1912 there was a serious heat wave in Stockholm Sweden and one of the runners died. Another heat wave hit in 1924 in Paris, France and disrupted events and reduced the performance levels. 1988 was the bumper year in terms of the number of athletes who were sent home for drug use, in particular the use of performance enhancing substances. In the current build-up, the games are already being threatened by terrorist attacks. It is earnestly hoped that the Chinese authorities can provide adequate security to protect all participants and visitors and that the games will progress satisfactorily without incidents. We also pray that competitors will desist from using performance enhancing drugs as the use of these substances has tarnished the great image of sport the world over and ruined the lives of so many promising and high performing athletes and sports stars.