2008 Beijing Olympic Games

The 2008 Beijing Olympics got off to a spectacular start. Huge numbers of people created one of the biggest live performances ever staged.

There was some criticism of the stage management of the opening ceremony.
Substituting a beautiful 7 year old to mime the singing of the real singer (but, with crooked teeth)
Some of the most spectacular firework displays were computer generated images.

The Chinese have been working very hard to present a perfect games. It appears they genuinely crave the admiration of the rest of the world. As you would expect from a totalitarian state they have been doing their utmost to prevent any demonstrations overshadowing the games.

In one respect we want sport to be kept separate from the Games. On the other hand, you are left with a bitter taste as the Chinese put on a propaganda display and try and hide their current and past games.

Away from the politics, the games themselves offers the usual mixture of glory, defeat, success and disappointment.

Michael Phelps looks unstoppable in the pool with 5 Gold medals to his name. He is currently on course to win 8. He has already become the most successful ever Olympic athlete in history (in terms of gold medals won) (Phelps stakes his claim)

Britain's Nicole Cooke won an exciting Olympic gold in the women's road race.

In a couple of days the Olympic track cycling programme begins and then the main athletics programme, which for many is the highlight of the Games.

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Biography Books

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Quotes by Franklin D Roosevelt - FDR

“I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.” – 1932

“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”

“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power.”


“In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.”


“We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.” (1940)

“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” – advice on making a speech to his son


“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.”


“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”


· “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin Roosevelt Biography
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