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Parnell Mini-Olympics

25th August 2008

New Zealand has a population of one fifth of New York City but has won 37
Gold medals, 16 Silvers and 35 Bronzes since its first Olympic Games in
Khyber Pass road in Auckland is named after a famous road that links
Afghanistan to Pakistan.
Argentina has spectacular scenery. The Iguazu Waterfalls are even higher
than the Niagara Falls. The Driest place on earth is the Atacama Desert, in
some parts of Atacama Desert, it has never rained!
Farming is very important in Australia. They even have the world's largest
cattle ranch. It is thirty thousand km squared and is almost the same size
as Belgium. Australia has hosted the Olympics twice, once in 1956 and
again in 2000.
Wildlife in Cambodia includes elephants, crocodiles, deer, wild ox,
panthers, bears, tigers and many species of poisonous snakes.
The Cook Islands enjoys lovely weather all year round. Winter falls
between July & September and Summer is from December to April but the
difference in temperature is only a couple of degrees.
Fiji is a collection of hundreds of small tropical islands although people
only live on about 100 of them. The weather is warm enough to grow
sugar cane, pineapples and coconuts.
France is famous for having great food. It has more than 500 different
types of cheese alone! French restaurants have won more international
awards than any other country.
India produces more movies than any other country in the world and
Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world. Indians go out to the
cinema about 3 billion times a year.
Iran is one of the world's oldest civilizations, some towns and settlements
are over 6000 years old. Iran has won a total of 47 medals since they first
appeared in the Olympics in 1948.
Rome in Italy is almost 3000 years old. It is said to have been founded by
two brothers Romulus and Remus, who were raised by wolves. Their
natural father was believed to be Mars, the God of War. Rome held the
Olympics in 1960.
Tokyo in Japan is the world’s biggest city. Around 34 million people live
there, that is about 8 times as many people as the whole of New Zealand!
Tokyo hosted the Olympics in 1964.
Malaysia is said to have the world’s oldest rainforest. It contains some
interesting creatures too. Elephants, tigers and orang-utans all live there as
well as pythons and huge king cobras.
The Dutch people are said to be the tallest in the world. The average Dutch
man is more than six feet tall and the average Dutch woman is nearly 5 foot 7
inches tall! Almost every Dutch person has a bicycle and there are twice as
many bikes as cars!
Niue is one of the smallest independent countries in the world but has some
amazing coral and cave formations. It is sometimes known as the "Rock of
The Philippines is made up of over 7000 islands. Its national bird is an
eagle, its national flower is an Arabian Jasmine and its national fruit is
Poland has won a total of 259 medals since they first took part in the
Olympics in 1924, including 62 gold Medals.
Soccer is very popular in Portugal and they have some of the best players in
the world, such as Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Russians celebrates Christmas twice a year, once on December 25th and
once on January 7th. It is also the largest country in the world and it hosted
the Olympics in 1980.
Samoans love to sing, and many of them have a talent for music. Samoan
folk songs tell stories of love, patriotism, and important events. Choirs and
brass bands are also popular.
South Africa has many interesting animals, including the largest mammal (the
African Elephant), the smallest mammal (the Dwarf Shrew), the tallest
creature (giraffe) the fastest mammal (Cheetah) and nearly 10 thousand
South Korea has a special day to celebrate their Alphabet called Hangul on
October 9th. South Korea held the Olympics in 1988.
Every year in Pamplona, Spain, they release a herd of bulls into the streets
while the locals try and run away from them. And every year in Bunol, around
30,000 people turn up for the worlds biggest tomato fight with 100s of
thousands of tomatoes being thrown!
The national flag of Sri Lanka, the Lion Flag, is considered to be one of the
oldest flags in the world.
Taiwan has the second highest building in the world, 509.2 metres tall,
called Taipei 101. The tallest building in Dubai is not yet completed but is
only 3 metres taller!
The United Kingdom is smaller than New Zealand but there are 15 times as
many people living there. The UK will host the next Olympics in 4 years
time. This will be the third time they have held the games.
Michael Phelps of the USA has won more Olympic gold medals than any
other person ever. 14 in total. USA are also the only country to have held
the Olympic games 4 times. In 1904, 1932, 1984 and 1996.
Vietnam stretches 1,600 km north to south, but is only about 40 km wide at
its narrowest point near the country's center. In Vietnamese schools,
instead of bells, gongs are used to call children.
The Beijing Olympics are the biggest ever, with nearly 11,000 athletes
competing in 204 competitions. It is also the most expensive and has cost
China over $55 Billion. The opening ceremony alone cost over $300 million!
The Olympic Oath
"In the name of all competitors, I
promise that we shall take part in
Olympic Games, respecting and
abiding by the rules that govern them,
in the
true spirit of sportsmanship, for the
glory of sport and the honour of our