A to Z of Olympics


RobinAge presents an A to Z of the Beijing Olympics. Compiled by Sohini Dey

A: for the Athletics event, which has 46 events under its umbrella including the marathon, hurdles, long jump, shot put, javelin, high jump, heptathlon and high jump.

B: for 'Bird's Nest'. The Olympic stadium has been nicknamed the Bird's Nest because of its design. Occupying an area of 21 hectares, it has a floor space of 258,000 square metres. Its seating capacity amounts to 91,000, including 11,000 temporary seats. The main body of the national stadium has a design life of 100 years. Its fire resistance capability is first-rate and it can withstand an eight-magnitude earthquake. The main body of the national stadium is a colossal saddle-shaped elliptic steel structure weighing 42,000 tons. It is 333metres long from north to south, 294metres wide from east to west and 69metres tall. Construction on the stadium began in December 2003.

C: for the 'Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing' the emblem of the 2008 Olympics. It stands for the hospitality and hopes of the host country and its commitment to the world.

D: for Double Trap, a clay pigeon shooting event. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won a silver medal in this event in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

E: for Equestrian events, which consist of various horse riding sports including dressage, eventing and jumping. 

F: for Field Hockey. India had performed well in this event winning gold 8 times, silver once and bronze twice. India did not qualify this year.

G: for Gymnastics, held in two categories - artistic and rhythmic. Only women participants are allowed in rhythmic gymnastics.

H: for the Heart to Heart Programme, to promote the Olympic spirit, mutual understanding and friendship between the children of China and across the world. Over 200 schools in Beijing are involved in this programme.

I: for India's 4x400m female relay team comprising of Chitra K. Soman, Raja M. Pooyamma, Mandeep Kaur and S. Geetha who have secured a place among the top 16 teams that will compete in the Olympics. The Indian team is trailed by that of China (3:29.75s) and Thailand (3:38.76s) on the second and third positions respectively. for the 'Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing' the emblem of the 2008 Olympics. It stands for the hospitality and hopes of the host country and its commitment to the world.

J: for Judo, the only event in the Olympics where a participant can choke his opponent or even break his arm in order to win.

K: for the for Kapranova Olga. She is among the best rhythmic gymnasts in the world. Kapranova took the world title for individual all-round in the 2008 Kiev World Cup. She will be the focus of attention at the Beijing Olympics too.

L: for Lawn Tennis. Leander Paes became the first Indian to win a medal (bronze) in this event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Sania Mirza and Sunitha Rao have been provided a wild card entry to participate in the quadrennial extravaganza this year.

M: for the official Mascots of the 2008 Olympics. Called Fuwa, the mascots are based on China's most popular animals - the fish, the panda, the tibetan antelope and the swallow, along with the Olympic flame

N: for the Newsletter, created by the Olympic organizers to inform visitors about the Games. Subscription is free of charge

O: for ‘One World One Dream’, the slogan of the 2008 Olympics. It expresses the wishes of the people for a bright future and symbolizes the global celebration despite individual differences.

P: for Pentathlon. Created by Pierre de Coubertin, the sport is a combination of swimming, running, shooting, fencing and riding, which are held over a period of one day (in its modern avatar).

Q: for Queueing Day, a monthly programme to teach locals to stand in line and wait to enter during the Olympic Games.

R: for Rowing, held in 14 categories. Steve Redgrave, winner of the last fi ve Olympics rowing championships is loosely dubbed the Athlete of the Century.

S: for Synchronized Swimming. This event requires participants (only women) to perform in water, accompanied by music. 

T: for Tae kwon do, a popular Korean martial art, which was added to the Olympics as a competitive sporting event in 2000.

U: for the USTB gymnasium also known as the University of Science and Technology Beijing gymnasium. It contains a 60 m x 40 m competition area and 8,012 spectator seats, including 4,080 permanent seats. The venue will hold the Judo and Taek won do competitions of the Olympic Games and Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball competitions of the Para Olympic Games next year. 

V: for the Village, the accommodation, dining and recreation centre for Olympians. It includes a 160acre 'Casual dining hall', library and DVD room.

W: for Weightlifting. Karnam Malleshwari won a bronze for India in the light heavyweight category in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

X: for the XXIX Olympiad, better known as the 2008 Summer Olympics that will be held in Beijing from August 8 to 24, 2008. 10,500 athletes are expected to compete in 302 events in 28 sports, just one event more than was on the schedule of the Athens Games of 2004. The official logo of the games, titled Dancing Beijing features a stylized calligraphic character 'jing' (meaning capital), referencing the host city. 

Y: is for Youth Camp, a global educational and cultural exchange programme held under the Olympic flag for young people aged 16 to 18.

Z: Zhang Yining remains the top seed table tennis player from China with teammates Guo Yue and Li Xiaoxia also listed among the world's best. The table tennis trio will form China's formidable Olympic team at the Beijing Games. Zhang has been nicknamed "Cool-face Killer" by her fans!

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