Olympic Games Beijing 2008
Motto: „One World, One Dream“
The XXIX Olympiad is taking place in the Chinese capital Beijing from August 8 to 24. The city was awarded the Olympic Games in July 2001 at an International Olympic Committee in Moscow, beating off competition from Toronto, Paris, Istanbul and Osaka. The main centre of the games is the Beijing National Stadium.
Photo-gallery of other Olympic venues
at this year's Olympics include BMX and marathon swimming.
The IIAF granted permission to Oscar Pistorius to take part in the games. However, the athlete, who has artificial lower legs, failed to qualify.
Protests against the Olympic Games in China
There have been a number of protests around the world at the fact the Olympics are being held in China, due to the country's human rights record. This year's Olympic torch relay met with demonstrations in several cities, prompting previously unseen levels of security.
China strongly condemned what it called criminal attacks on the relay.
No Czech government officials are attending the opening ceremony of the XXIX Olympiad. However, the Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, will spend some days in Beijing supporting Czech athletes.
Czech athletes in Beijing
You can find a complete list of Czech athletes who have qualified for the 2008 Olympics here
Symbols of the 2008 Olympic Games
Each of the Olympic Medals is inlaid with jade, which in China is a symbol
of beauty, strength, nobility, virtue and immortality. On their obverse
side, the medals adopt the standard design prescribed by the International
Olympic Committee - a drawing that represents the winged goddess of victory
Nike and Panathinaikos Arena, while on their reverse side, the medals are
inlaid with jade with the Beijing Games emblem engraved in the metal
The bronze medals are inlaid with black jade, the silver medals with green
stones and the gold medals with the precious white variety, which is
sometimes described as “moonlight captured in stone”.
The Olympic Torch
The torch, made of aluminum resembles a paper scroll and the graphic used
expresses harmony as well as the Eastern philosophy of the five elements of
creation: air, water, earth, fire and metal. The torch was designed to
withstand winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour and to stay alight in rain
up to 50mm an hour.
The Olympic Mascots
Like the Five Olympic Rings, there are five mascots - Fuwa. They represent
four of China's most popular animals -- the Fish, the Panda, the Antelope,
the Swallow - and the Olympic Flame. Each of them has a rhyming
two-syllable name - a traditional way of expressing affection for children
in China. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the
Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow.
When you put their names together - Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni - they say
"Welcome to Beijing". They also embody the Chinese landscape and
convey the message of a Green Olympics.