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Summer Olympics

Special to The Vail TrailHenri de Baillet-Latour, former Olympic Committee president, banned all women's races longer than 200 meters after the 1928 Amsterdam Games. In the 1930's, Olympic doctors warned women who ran the 800-meters would "become old too soon." The women's marathon finally became an Olympic event in 1984.
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– The Beijing Olympics have been dubbed the “first ever Web 2.0 Games” because of the amount of athlete blogging expected, but the International Olympic Committee plans to restrict what athletes can post on their blogs during the Olympiad.

– Olympic authorities have forbidden dog meat from all 112 official Olympic restaurants and urged others to take canine options off their menus for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics.

– Chinese authorities have set up “cloud seeding” rockets designed to break up clouds that threaten the opening ceremonies in Beijing on Aug. 8. Scientists debate the effectiveness of the technique.

– In an effort to clean up Beijing taxis before the Games, drivers have been asked not to eat, spit, smoke, wear earrings, shave their heads, or sport beards in their cabs during the Games.

– In an effort to ease traffic during the Games, officials have implemented a system to alternate even and odd licence plates to keep half of all Beijing vehicles off the roads on any given day between July 20 and Sept. 20.

– Chinese authorities expect 9,000 marriage license applications allowing couples to be wed on Aug. 8, 2008, the day of the Olympic opening ceremonies. In Chinese tradition, the number eight is said to bring good fortune.

– More than 4,000 Chinese babies have been named “Aoyun” or “Olympic Games” over the past 15 years, with the greatest surge coming after China’s 1992 unsuccessful bid for the 2000 Games.

– The five Olympic mascots are Bei Bei, a fish; Jing Jing, a panda; Huan Huan, a flame; Ying Ying, a Tibetan antelope; and Ni Ni, a swallow.

– When translated in succession, the names of the five mascots, Bei Bei, Jing Jing, Huan Huan, Ying Ying and Ni Ni, mean “Beijing welcomes you!”

– At the 1900 Games in Paris, the Dutch rowing team scouted a French boy as a last-minute replacement coxswain and won the regatta. The boy disappeared after the race and his identity remains a mystery.

– U.S. marathon runner Fred Lorz was disqualified after a record-breaking win at the 1904 St. Louis Olympic Games. After crossing the finish line in just three hours and 13 minutes, officials discovered he rode in a car for nearly 18 kilometers of the race.

– Henri de Baillet-Latour, former Olympic Committee president, banned all women’s races longer than 200 meters after the 1928 Amsterdam Games. In the 1930’s, Olympic doctors warned women who ran the 800-meters would “become old too soon.” The women’s marathon finally became an Olympic event in 1984.

– Los Angeles was the first host city to turn a profit at the 1984 Summer Games after making $238 million.


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