Friday, February 1, 2008

CC8: Citius, Altius, Fortius

Background:

This is speech no 8 in the Competent and Leadership manual.

Actual Speech:

Thank you TME. Citius, Altius, Fortius. Worry not, ladies and gentlemen. You’re not in the wrong room. We are all still in the Toastmasters meeting.

Good evening Mr President, fellow Toastmasters and guests. Tonight I’m going to talk about the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games is often referred to as ‘The Olympics’ or ‘The Games’. The Olympics Games is a multi-sport event, subdivided into summer and winter sporting events.

The Games is held every four years. The summer and winter games were both held in the same year until 1992 whereby the two games were separated and held two years apart. The most recent Summer Games was held in 2004 in Athens while the most recent Winter Games was held in 2006 in Turin.

Now, let’s move on to some brief history of the Olympic Games. The original Olympic Games was held for the first time in 776 BC in the ancient city of Olympia in Greece. The Games was celebrated until AD 393. The Olympics was revived after discontinued for centuries when the International Olympic Committee or IOC was set up in 1894. The Summer Games held in Athens two years later in 1896 was the first Modern Olympics.

The Olympic Motto is ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’. It is actually a Latin phrase meaning ‘Swifter, Higher and Stronger’. That probably explains why the Olympic Games is regarded as the competition ground of the world’s greatest athletes.

The Olympics is so highly regarded that even an athlete that qualifies to the Olympics is already so well respected and called an Olympian, regardless whether or not he wins the competition. Winning is not everything in the Olympic Games. The famous Olympic Creed reads:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.

The Olympic rings are five intertwined rings each representing the five inhabited continents in the world. The Americas are regarded as one single continent. So they are the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. They appear in five colours – red, blue, green, yellow and black. The colours were chosen such that each nation would have at least one of these colours in its national flag.

Here we have the list of host cities of the Modern Olympic Games from 1896 to present. This time would be the third time an Asian city hosting the Olympic Games. The Europe has organised the Games for a record of 15 times, the North America six and the Oceania twice. Only two continents have never hosted the games before, the South America and Africa.

The upcoming Games will be held in the Chinese capital of Beijing. Beijing won the bid to host the Games in 2001, defeating Osaka, Istanbul, Madrid and Paris. The Games will be held from August 8th until August 24th 2008. Probably Joanne would have the answer why the Beijing Olympic Organising Committee has chosen August 8th 2008 to start the Games.

The Games this year would be one of the biggest and the most expensive in the Olympic Games history. Some 12 000 competitors from 203 countries around the globe will compete in 302 events in 28 sports. The theme for the Games this year is ‘One World One Dream’. Official mascot of the Games is the Chinese dolls called Fuwa.

Here are some of the pictures of the competition venues. This is The National Stadium where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be held. It has a 80 000-seat capacity and nicknamed the ‘Bird’s Nest’. This is the National Indoor Stadium where the gymnastics and wushu events will be held. This is the National Aquatic Center nicknamed the ‘Water Cube’. The swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events will all be held here. Impressive huh?

Most of the events will be held in Beijing. Hong Kong will host the equestrian event. Football preliminaries will be held in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang and Qinhuangdao.


It is now less than 200 days left before the Games begin. The Beijing Olympic Organising Committee is now busy with the last phase of the preparatory work before they usher the world to the Games in August. Among the preparatory work currently under way are completing the sports facilities, reducing the traffic congestion, reducing the pollution level and upgrading the public transportation.

Let us all hope everything will go well and Beijing will host the most successful games ever. Over to you, TME.

By, Teoh Chun Ming