Geronimo Stilton saves the Olympics, by Geronimo Stilton
This graphic novel is about when everyone in new mouse city goes all sporty and they go back to the first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens.Others help Geronimo save the day.
Reviewed by Michelle from Tawa, 10 years old
Olympic challenge!, by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie will be wisked off to ancient Greece, will they be able to cope with the challenges of going back in time?
To me this was a good short read but would reccomend more to 7-10 year olds.
Reviewed by Marina from Miramar, 12 years old
Hour of the Olympics, by Mary Pope Osborne
As Master librians, Jack and Annie have to find stories from the past, that’s when Morgan sends them with the magic tree house to Greece where the olympics were first on! But women were treated diffrently than men, they didn’t have the same rights as men. Can Annie survive in that way? Will Annie and Jack get the right sory at the right time? The only way to find out is read the book!
Reviewed by Ola from Central City, 12 years old
Olympia the Games Fairy, by Meadows, Daisy.
I liked it because they got all of the magical things back. The swimming hat and the bell for the bicycle and the running fast shoes. But Jack frost steals everything and Kirsty and Rachel helps the fairy get them all back from the mean Jack Frost and the Goblins.
Reviewed by Ilaria from Miramar, 7 years old
Hour of the Olympics, by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie are in ancient greek and they’re trying to get a secret book by a secret author but disaster strikes…
Reviewed by aidan, 8 years old
Did you know that New Zealand’s first gold medal was won by a boxer called Ted Morgan in 1928?
Boxing is one of the oldest sports at the Olympics; it’s been around for around 5,000 years and was practiced in China, Greece and Rome. It was first introduced as an Olympic sport in 1902. It’s been in every Olympic Games since then except the 1912 Games, as Sweden, the host country, had a law against boxing.
Boxing was traditionally fought with bare hands until 1867, when the Queensbury rules were introduced. It was these rules that also introduced weight limits to the sport. These rules were extremely influential on boxing, and changed it from bare-knuckle brawls to a real sport.
New Zealand is sending two boxers, Siona Fernandez and Alexis Pritchard to the London; this year is the first time women’s boxing is appearing at the Olympic games.
New Zealand didn’t compete as a nation in its own right until 1920; in the previous Olympics we had competed as a conjoint team with Australia. In 1920 New Zealand’s first Olympic team took 9 weeks to get to Antwerp by ship. Every member of that team made it to the finals, and Violet Walrond, our first female Olympian, was with them. She was only 15 at the time, and only 14 when she qualified. Unfortunately, she stopped swimming at 18.
Our first gold medal was in boxing, and was won by Ted Morgan in 1928. Yvette Williams was the first New Zealand woman to win a gold medal in 1952, in long-jump. The next female Olympian to win Gold was Barbara Kendall, in 1992. Barbara Kendall competed in five Olympic Games…that’s pretty impressive!
Perhaps the most famous historical Olympian is Peter Snell. He first won gold in the 800m race in 1960, and won two more gold medals in 1964. But he’s not New Zealand’s most ‘successful’ Olympian: that’s Ian Ferguson, a canoeist, who has won 4 gold medals and one bronze across five Olympic games.
This is a great book that will tell you about some of out best Olympians.
Judo and Taekwondo are the only two Asian Martial Arts that are accepted as Olympic sports.
Taekwondo became an Olympic sport in 2000. That’s quite late; early forms of Taekwondo began appearing in Korea almost 2000 years ago. That makes it almost as old as the Olympic games themselves! Today, Taekwondo is practised in about 190 countries. The country that has won the most medals in Taekwondo is South Korea, followed by China and then the United States. The three New Zealanders in Taekwondo are Logan Campbell, Vaughn Scott, and Robin Cheong.
Judo was started in Japan and became an Olympic sport in 1964, although it was demonstrated at the 1932 Olympics . Judo was created by Jigoro Kano, a Japanese educator. Visually impaired martial artists can also compete in Judo at the Paralympics. Japan has won the most medals in Judo, followed by France and then South Korea. Moira de Villiers is the only New Zealand Judoka (someone who practices Judo) at this years Olympics.
Did you know that sword-fighting is an Olympic sport? At the Olympics it is called fencing. Fencers fight one-on-one indoors on what is called the Strip. The Strip is 14 metres long and 2 metres wide. Competitors have to stay within this boundary. A fencing challenge is called a bout. Fencers fight in bouts of 3, which last 3 minutes each.
Competitors fight with three different kinds of swords: foils, epees and sabres. Medals are given for the winners in each competition for each kind of sword. Each sword has its own rules, but generally a competitor scores one point each time they touch the other person with the tip of their sword. To win they must score 15 hits on their opponent, or the highest number of hits in a bout. Fencers dress all in white. So that the competitors do not get hurt for real they wear gloves, padded jackets and pants, and wire masks to protect their faces. Most importantly, the swords have blunt tips!
Sword-fighting is a very old sport. Many soldiers in ancient cultures fought with swords, including the Greeks and Romans. Fencing schools were founded in Medieval England, and the rules of fencing were set up by the end of the 1400s. The foil sword was invented in the 1600s, as well as the mesh face mask.
Fencing was first part of the Olympics in 1896, and has been included in every Olympic Games ever since. France, Italy and Hungary have had a strong tradition of fencing since the 1800s. They frequently win the individual men, women and team events, along with Germany and Russia.
You can learn all about what it is like to be a fencer in Fencing is For Me, and learn all about every single Olympic sport in the Macmillan encyclopedia of Olympic sports.
Cycling has been an Olympic sport since the very beginning of the modern Olympic Games. It made its first appearence at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens.
Bicylces had been around since the early 1800s, but they had only recently become popular. Can you imagine trying to race on the penny farthing? The bicycles at the first Olympics were much more like the bikes we ride today, with two wheels of the same size.
There was only one cycling event at the first modern Olympic Games: the men’s road race, which had only seven contestants. Five of them were from Greece!
Today there are 18 different events, with both men and women participating. In the men’s road race in 2012, there will be 145 contestants. That’s quite a step up from 1896! Probably the most famous New Zealand Olympic cyclist is Sarah Ulmer, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.