Did You Know

   The opening & closing ceremonies of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games 2006 will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

   Only six nations have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.

   The best known symbol of the Olympics are probably the five Olympic Rings. The colours of the rings were chosen so that every country had at least one colour from their flag included.

   The official Olympic motto is "Citius, Altius, Fortius". This phrase means "Swifter, Higher, Stronger" in Latin.

   The first Olympics was held in Olympia, Greece in 776 BC (almost 3000 years ago). They may have been set up to please the Greek gods. But no one knows for sure.

   The marathon is named from a town in Greece called Marathon. The story was that more than 2000 years ago a soldier ran from Marathon to Athens, Greece. He did this to tell everyone that the Greeks had won a battle. He then dropped dead.

   Tenpin Bowling and Cricket used to be Commonwealth Games events.

   The bicycles ridden in the velodrome (bicycle track) races are called track bikes. Unlike other bicycles they have no brakes.

   Basketball was first played in 1891.

   There was no Olympics in 1916, 1940 or 1944. Why? It was because World War 1 and 2 were being fought during those years (1914 -1918 and 1939 - 1945).

   The Olympics has been held twice in Australia. It was held in Sydney in 2000 and in Melbourne in 1956. At the same time, television started in Australia (so we could watch the Olympics)

   Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games three times. It has been held in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and will be held in Melbourne in 2006.

   In 2008, the Olympics will be held in Beijing, China.

   The Olympics have been held in America four times.

   The marathon is run over 42,195 metres which is more than 42 kilometres long.

   The ball used in hockey is the same size and weight as a cricket ball.

   The Olympics have been held in Europe 14 times. It has been held in Athens, Greece, twice. Why do think this might be? It is because the Olympics started in Greece.

   Hockey was invented as another sport for cricketers to play during winter in England.

   Tae Kwon Do started in Korea more than 2000 years ago.

   An Australian woman, Lauren Burns, won gold in Tae Kwon Do in 2000.

   When tennis was first invented, it was played indoors and the walls and floors were considered not out of bounds.

   Five hundred years ago, tennis was played without racquets.

   Fencing started out from soldiers fighting in war with swords. The sport has been played in every modern Olympics.

   The current Olympic Games programme includes 35 sports and nearly 400 events.

   Tug of war, rugby, polo, lacrosse and golf were once Olympic events.

   The scoring in tennis may have come from telling the time. After a point has been scored, the clock hand is moved a quarter of the way around the clock face. The first point is 15. The second is 30. The third point is 40 (but on a clock that would be 45). But no one knows if this is really true.

   The field that hockey was played on used to be a lot, lot longer. It was about 200 metres long.

   Before the 1980's only amateur athletes could compete in the Olympic Games. The only professional athletes were fencing instructors.

   Triathlons only became an Olympic sport in 2000. They used to only be used to help athletes train. In them athletes run, swim and ride a bicycle.

   The first tennis balls were hard.

   There is a baton relay before each Commonwealth Games. For the first time the baton will be carried through each Commonwealth country before the Melbourne games. Click here to see more http://www.melbourne2006.com.au/?s=qbr

   The Olympic Games take place every four years, in a leap year. The Commonwealth Games are also every four years. They are two years before the next Olympics and two years after the last one

   The modern Olympics were started in 1896. It has been held 28 times since.

   In the Ancient Olympics normally only young men competed. They were usually naked. This was to celebrate what the human body is able to do.

   There were 245 athletes from 15 countries at the 1896 Olympic Games. But in Sydney in 2000 there were more than 10,500 competitors from 200 countries.

   In 2000, about 3,800,000,000 (3,800 million) viewers watched the Olympics on television.

   During 1972 Olympics in Munich, West Germany, eleven members Israeli athletes were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. Unfortunately all of them were killed.

   In 1980 Russia held the Olympics in Moscow. The United States refused to have its athletes compete. These two countries were the worst enemies.

   In 1984 America held the Olympics in Los Angeles (L.A.). Russia refused to have its athletes compete. These two countries were the worst enemies.

   As well as many Olympic sports, the Commonwealth Games also has some sports that are played mainly in Commonwealth countries. Some of these sports are lawn bowls and netball.

   The Olympics are held close to summer. There is also a winter Olympics.

   The Winter Olympics are held two years after the last Summer Olympics, which is also two years before the next Summer Olympics. They are NOT held at the same city as the Summer Olympics.

   Over 200 countries currently participate in the Olympics.

   Attendance at the Commonwealth Games is typically around 5,000 athletes. Only the Olympics and the World Police & Fire Games have more athletes competing.

   The first torch relay held in 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

   Sixty five countries refused to compete in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia. This was because Russia had just invaded Afghanistan.

   The Winter Olympics must be held where there is snow, ice and mountains. Some of the winter sports are skiing, ice hockey, ice skating and bobsleighing.

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