The Malta Independent 26 March 2019, Tuesday

Official Feature of the Maltese Olympic Committee: Games of the XXIX Olympiad – 8-24 August 2008

Malta Independent Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

Design of the torch

The Beijing 2008 Olympic torch is designed in a curved surface form, with etching and anodising being used during its production. The flame can be identified and photographed in sunshine and areas of extreme brightness. The fuel is propane which is in accordance with environmental guidelines. This means that no material, except carbon dioxide and water will remain after the burning, as to eliminate any risk of pollution.

Facts and figures

Weight: 985grams

Height: 72cm

Designers: It is designed, researched and produced by the Chinese.

Materials: It is made of aluminium which is of a recyclable form.

Themes: Journey of Harmony. It embodies the ideal of placing sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.

Slogan: Light the Passion Share the Dream.

The emblem

Dancing Beijing is the name of the official emblem of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. The emblem draws a traditional red Chinese seal above the words “Beijing 2008” and Olympic rings. The curves are also claimed to suggest the body of a wriggling Chinese dragon. The open arms of the figure symbolise the invitation of China to the rest of the world to join the Olympics, a celebration of peace, friendship and progress of mankind. The figure also resembles that of a runner crossing the finish line. Red, the dominant colour of the emblem, is an important colour in Chinese society, signifying good luck.

Beijing theme

“One World One Dream” is selected as the theme slogan for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. It fully reflects the essence and the universal values of the Olympic spirit: unity, friendship, progress, harmony, participation and dream.

It expresses the common wishes of people all over the world, inspired by the Olympic ideals, to strive for a bright future of Mankind. In spite of the difference in colours, language and races, we share the charm and joy of the Olympic Games and together we seek for the ideal of mankind for peace.

“One World, One Dream” expresses the firm belief of a great nation, with a long history of 5,000 years and on its way towards modernisation, that is committed to peaceful development, harmonious society and people’s happiness. It voices the aspirations of 1.3 billion Chinese people to contribute to the establishment of a peaceful and bright world.

Olympic medals

The Olympic Charter states that “medals shall be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick. The medals for first and second places shall be of silver of at least 925-1000 grade; the medal for first place shall be gilded with at least 6g of pure gold.

Beijing 2008 medals

The medal for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is designed with inspiration coming from bi China’s ancient jade piece inscribed with dragon pattern. The medals, made of gold and jade, symbolise nobility and virtue and are embodiment of traditional Chinese values of ethics and honour, sending forth strong Chinese flavour.

The medals are 70mm in diameter and 6mm in thickness. On the front side, the medal adopts standard design prescribed by the International Olympic Committee. While on the reverse, the medal is inlaid with jade with the Beijing Games emblem engraved in the metal centrepiece. The design inspiration of the medal hook derives from jade huang a ceremonial jade piece with decoration of double dragon pattern and Pu the reed mat pattern.

Noble and elegant, the Beijing Olympic Games medal is a blending of traditional Chinese culture and the Olympism. It gives the winners of the Games great honour and acclamation as recognition of their achievement.


The first official mascot was a jaguar at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, but it was not given a name. The mascot is designed to reflect the host country’s and city’s traditions and culture.

Fuwa – the Beijing


Like the five Olympic Rings from which they draw their colour and inspiration, Fuwa will serve as the Official mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and peace and good wishes from china to children all over the world.


The competition schedule at the Beijing 2008 Games includes 28 Olympic sports, which will be held at 37 venues.

Within the 28 sports, there are a total of 37 disciplines. A discipline is a branch of sport comprising of one or more events. For instance, gymnastics is an Olympic sport, with three disciplines; artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.

For a sport to be included on the Olympic programme, the Olympic Charter states that it must be practised by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries and three continents.

Within the 302 events a total of 10,708 athletes will be participating in the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. A total number of 37 venues will be used for these Games, of which 31 are competition venues in Beijing and the remaining venues are found outside Beijing.


Pictograms are easily recognised symbols, they are used on maps, guidebooks and signs. Pictograms represent the Olympic sports and disciplines, enabling the viewer to identify them immediately.

This set of sport icons is named “The Beauty of Seal Characters” due to each pictogram’s likeness to Chinese seal script.

Drugs in sport

The use of performance enhancing drugs is unfortunately still evident in Modern Olympic Games.

Ancient Greek athletes are known to have used special diets and simulating potions to boost themselves. Strychine, caffeine, cocaine and alcohol were often used to endurance athletes in the 19th century.

The first Olympic drug abuse scandal occurred in the 1960 100km cycling race, when 2 Danish competitors collapsed and one died. It was originally thought that they had suffered from sunstroke, but it transpired that both had taken overdoses of a blood-circulation stimulant.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) created a Medical Commission in 1967 to deal with the increasing problem of drugs in sport. Drug testing for all sports was introduced at the 1968 Tel Aviv Games.

Today the IOC together with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has established the Olympic Movement World Anti-Doping Code which the entire Olympic Movement must adhere to. The aim of the Anti-Doping Code is to eliminate drugs in sport and to protect the health of the athletes, respecting the main ethical concepts.

Cultural programme

The role of the Olympic Cultural programme is to highlight the shared values of sport and the arts with regard to excellence, effort and achievement. Former President of the IOC, HE Juan Antonio Samaranch once said, “Culture is intrinsic to Olympism. Without a lively, visible cultural programme that reflects the spirit of the host country, the Olympic Games would be incomplete.”

Beijing 2008

Cultural programme

The Olympic Cultural Festival, held once a year form 2005 – 2008, combines sports and cultural activities such as mass sports, discussion forums and cultural performances among others, to spread the Olympic spirit and Olympic culture.

The goal of the Cultural Festival is to introduce the unique characteristics of Beijing and China to the world by exploiting Beijing’s advantages and using all other resources available.

Olympic live sites

The 19 urban and rural Olympic live sites around Beijing are independently themed according to their respective local characteristics and are grouped into Olympic-themed Parks and County Olympic live sites. The Olympic-themed parks will be located at Shichahai, Longtanhu Park, Shijingshan Park to show the culture of the ancient imperial city, the Beijing folklore and the Olympic culture. Rural Olympic live sites will also hold diversified activities to create a positive atmosphere for 2008 Olympic Games.

Olympic music park

Olympic music park, a great outdoor music party that lasts throughout the entire Olympic Cultural Festival, will highlight the Olympic theme and demonstrate the four major elements-the new trend, modernity, health and vitality. Some of the renowned music bands and performers will be presenting great shows and bringing the city a lovely atmosphere.

To be continued next week.The first part was published last week

MIA Olympic Special – What’s On

On Friday, 1 February on E22 at 9pm , Sunday, 3 February on E22 at 10am (RPT) and on TVM at 525pm, and Monday, 4 February on E22 at 2.30pm (RPT) will feature the following:

Featured Event – MIA Fun Run

Like last year MIA will be organised their fun run around the airport. The event was held on Sunday morning with a good participation. These events are held regularly and enhance the existing good relationship between the Malta Olympic Committee and the Malta International Airport.

Highlighted Event –

Swimming / ASM Championships

The Aquatic Sports Association over the past weekend held time trials as preparation for the coming events. Amongst the participants during this time trials was Ryan Gambin an Australian who has just come over to Malta in order to potentially participate in the Beijing Olympics.

The ASM once again held a Championship event reserved to autocross and bangers at the ASM racing circuits. The number of participants was once again satisfying. This sport is gaining momentum at a fast pace and it’s popularity on our shores is on the increase.

MOC Section

Since this year is an Olympic year this programme will start featuring interviews with athletes that will probably be in Beijing for this summer’s games. The second athlete to be interviewed is Martina Xuereb.

Olympic Archive

A trip down memory lane will make us recall past editions of the Olympic Games.

Schedule available every week on and on this newspaper every Tuesday. Produced in collaboration with E22.

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