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From the Reference Desk

2008 Summer Olympics - Beijing, China

The 2008 Summer Olympics will open August 8 in Beijing, China and run through August 24.

Have fun exploring the Official Website for the Olympic Movement. Read about the Olympic Games, their history, the events, and the athletes.

Be sure to visit the official site of the Summer 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. Even if you are not traveling to Beijing to attend the games, take a virtual tour of the area?s attractions, follow the Olympic torch, and keep abreast of the events.

Schedule of Events.

Follow the U.S. Olympic team through featured athlete and news articles, blog posts, video clips and more.

Get the whole scoop from NBC?s official Summer Olympic website. Keep up with the current events, read bios about the athletes, watch the medal counts accumulate for each country, join the blog, and view photos and video clips of the games.

Find a summary for each summer game since 1896. This site will provide highlights and links to your favorite events and athletes.

How much do you really know about the history of the Olympics? Take some of these quizzes to test your knowledge

Learn more about the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin as the Nazis gained momentum before WWII. This site is part of an exhibit running from April 25 through August 17, 2008 at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

Famous Olympians

These are some of the summer Olympic athletes Americans remember for their amazing feats and accomplishments. What years did they compete? How many medals did they win? Where are they now? Find books that will answer all these questions and more by typing their names as a keyword search at:

Olga Korbut, 1972, Gymnastics
Jesse Owens, 1936, Track & Field
Nadia Comaneci: Gymnastics
Florence Griffith Joyner, Track & Field
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field
Mary Lou Retton, 1984, Gymnastics
Bruce Jenner, 1976, Decathlon
Mark Spitz, 1972, Swimming

Olympic Reading Lists

Adult Reads

The Magnificent Seven: The Authorized Story of American Gold
Kleinbaum, Nancy H.
These are the seven young women who vaulted to Olympic glory by becoming the first United States gymnasts ever to win team gold. Now The Magnificent Seven: The Authorized Story of American Gold tells each gymnast's story, based on exclusive interviews. These young women's incredible talent, determination, and spirit electrified the more than sixty million television spectators who watched as the team didn't miss a beat.
Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936
Large, David Clay
A historical account of the 1936 Olympics discusses how the games represented a critical collision of athletics and politics for Nazi Germany, sharing details about the role of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry and international efforts to boycott the games
Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World (Large Print)
Maraniss, David
The world as we know it was coming into view. Rome saw the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand of shoes. Old-boy notions of Olympic amateurism were crumbling and could never be taken seriously again. In the heat of the cold war, the city teemed with spies and rumors of defections. Every move was judged for its propaganda value.
The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games
Perrottet, Tony
Approaches the Olympic Games day by day, to recreate for the first time the actual experience of visiting the ultimate sporting extravaganza - from the point of view of the ancient spectators who flocked there generation after generation, the beleaguered event organizers in the religious sanctuary of Olympia, and the famous Greek athletes themselves, who competed entirely unadorned in an echo of ancient initiation rites.
Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith
Smith, Tommie
At the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith and his teammate John Carlos came in first and third in the 200-metre sprint. In this text, Smith explains why, as they received their medals, both men raised a black-gloved fist, creating an image that will always stand as an iconic representation of the conflicts of race, politics, and sports.

Juvenile Reads

Hour of the Olympics
Osborne, Mary Pope
Their magic tree house takes Jack and Annie back to retrieve a lost story in ancient Greece, where they witness the original Olympic games and are surprised to find what girls of the time were not allowed to do. Number 16 in the Magic Tree House series.
Other formats:
Ancient Greece and the Olympics: A Nonfiction Companion to Hour of the Olympics
Osborne, Mary Pope
In this Magic Tree House Research Guide, Annie and Jack present information about ancient Greece and the athletic events known as the Olympic games that were held there.
Rowing, Sailing, and Other Sports on Water
Page, Jason
Features facts about various aquatic sports in the Olympic category, as well as dramatic stories and photographs of some of the events. A guide to both historical and current records, as well as to the reigning Olympic champions.
The Price of Victory
Ross, Stewart
From falling statues to sinking boats, Pylades and his brother Kinesias, a champion athlete, are on a dangerous adventure when someone wants to murder Kinesias before he can compete at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.
Geronimo and the Gold Medal Mystery
Stilton, Geronimo
Number 33 in the Geronimo Stilton series, when Geronimo is assigned to report on the Olympics in Greece, he sniffs a mysterious adventure in the making.

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