Розмовна тема: Olympic Games

Розмовна тема: Olympic Games

Olympic Games are international sports competition, held every four years at a different site, in which athletes from different nations compete against each other in a variety of sports. There are two types of Olympics, the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. Through 1992, they were held in the same year, but beginning in 1994, they were rescheduled so that they are held in alternate even-numbered years. For example, the Winter Olympics were held in 1994 and the Summer Olympics in 1996. This year, 2008, the Summer Olympic Games are going to be held in China. The modern Olympic Games began in Athens, Greece, in 1896, two years after French educator and thinker Pierre de Coubertin proposed that the Olympic Games of ancient Greece be revived to promote a more peaceful world. The program for the 1896 Games, including only summer events (the Winter Olympics were not established until 1924), included about 300 athletes from fewer than 15 countries competing in 43 events in nine different sports. In contrast, the program 100 years later for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, included more than 10,000 athletes from more than 190 countries competing in 271 events in 29 different sports.

The Olympic Games have always included a number of ceremonies, many of which emphasize the themes of international friendship and peaceful cooperation. The opening ceremony has always included the parade of nations, in which the teams from each nation enter the main stadium as part of a procession. The Greek team always enters first, to commemorate the ancient origins of the modern Games, and the team of the host natibn always enters last. The opening ceremony has evolved over the years into a complex extravaganza, with music, speeches, and pageantry. It is eagerly anticipated and well attended. The torch relay, in which the Olympic Flame symbolizes the transmission of Olympic ideals from ancient Greece to the modern world, was introduced as part of the opening ceremony at the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, Germany. In the relay, the torch is lit in Olympia, Greece, and is carried over several weeks or months from there to the host city by a series of runners. After the last runner has lit the Olympic Flame in the main Olympic stadium, the host country’s head of state declares the Games officially open.

Two other important ceremonial innovations had appeared earlier at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium. The Olympic Flag, with its five interlocking rings of different colours against a white background, was flown for the first time. The five rings represent unity among the nations of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. Another innovation occurring in 1920 was the first reciting of the Olympic Oath, taken in the name of all the athletes by a member of the host’s team. The oath asserts the athletes’ commitment to the ideals of sportsmanship in competition. Medal ceremonies are also an important part of the Games. After each individual event during the Games, medals are awarded in a peremony to the first-, second-, and third-place finishers. The ceremony occurs after each event, when these competitors mount a podium to receive gold, silver and bronze medals. While the national flags of all three competitors are hoisted, the national anthem of the winner’s country is played.

The last Summer Olympic Games, held in Athens, Greece, were extremely successful for Ukraine. We received 23 medals: 9 gold, 5 silver and 9 bronze medals. The names of Olympic winners, Yuri Bilonog in putting the shot, Valeri Honcharov in gymnastics, Iryna Melnik-Merleni in wrestling, Olena Kostevych (pneumatic pistol), Elbrus Tedeev in free-style wrestling and especially of Yana Klochkova who won 2 gold medals in 200 and 400 complex swimming, have become admired by everyone in our country.