Journalist Jay Weiner spoke at the October UCBC meeting about covering the Beijing Olympics.  This is the transcript of his presentation.

Whenever I go to and then return from an Olympics, people always ask: "How was Greece?" or "How was Japan?" or "How was Australia Generally,I say, "Oh, I didn't go to Japan. I went to the Olympics."

The event creates a sort of nationless cocoon.

By Jennifer Nordin, Staff Writer

 

The 2008 Beijing Olympics began with a spectacular display at the National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest) in the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 8 and ended with an equally awe-inspiring Closing Ceremonies on Aug. 24.  In between, was a 17-day rollercoaster of emotion and excitement that only happens every four years.  There were thrilling victories and crushing defeats by the slimmest of margins.  It was a Games which saw China win an astounding 51 gold medals, a young Jamaican become the world’s fastest man, and an American become the all-time winner of Olympic gold medals.

By Bai Xu

BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- With the nation still in mourning over the deaths in May's earthquake, China's athletes must focus hard on their preparation as they enter the final lap before the Beijing Games in August.

 

GRIM SITUATION

Many Chinese people had been looking forward to seeing their athletes win many gold medals in Beijing. That was before Cuban Dayron Robles broke the world record of 110 meters hurdles, the discipline in which China's top medal hope and current Olympic and world champion Liu Xiang was penciled in by many as a banker for gold. Liu went to the United States in late May to take part in two top-level races but flopped in both, after a false start and a hamstring twinge. Another blow came on the gymnastics floor, where China's athletes bore great hopes on their shoulders. A new rule by the International Gymnastics Federation reduced the group competing in team event from six members to five and cancelled the privilege of all-round athletes in participating in specific events, a move to lessen the advantage of some teams. "This is unfavorable to us," said Zhang Peiwen, head of the Chinese gymnastics team, "it is easier for more teams to form a five-member team rather than one with six ace players." In shooting, Xiao Haopeng, head of the Chinese shooting squad, saw the dramatic progress of foreign shooters after three World Cups earlier this year, especially those from Germany, Russia and France. "Previously we thought that we had an advantage in competing in finals, but now, the advantage is gone," he said. Women's 10-meter air rifle is supposed to produce the first gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, and Du Li, world record holder and gold medalist at the Athens Olympics, is preparing to defend her title.

However, in the test event of Good Luck Beijing ISSF World Cup, Du only picked up a bronze in the event, surrendering the gold to Czech markswoman Katerina Emmons, who equaled the world record with 504.9 points.

Aquatics

 

Aquatics have been an Olympic sport since the first modern games in 1896.  Aquatic disciplines include diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo. 

 

Early swimming contests at the Olympics only included freestyle (crawl) and breaststroke.  Backstroke was added in 1904 and the butterfly stroke was added in 1956.  Women’s swimming was first held in 1912. 

By Fei Liena

BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Olympic gold medal isn't for everyone, but excellence is.

Sporting superpower the United States will send its biggest-ever delegation, of 2,000 members, to Beijing, and will compete in 27 out of 28 sports in the Olympics.

As a dominant force in athletics and swimming, the United States also holds an advantage in gymnastics, wrestling, women's baseball and basketball.

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