The Olympics: History, Controversy and Just Plain Strange

The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing seem to have generated more advance interest and pre-game controversy than any in recent memory. LiveScience is digging into the history of the Games and the offbeat aspects playing out this time around.

Quiz: Test Your Olympic Knowledge With the Beijing Games on the horizon, we challenge you to test your cranial fortitude with this quiz on wild and wonderful Summer Olympic events through history.

How the Olympics Changed the World While the competitors in Beijing will become part of a 112-year-old tradition of sporting excellence, the history of the Olympics is also politically charged, often acting as a showcase for the world's squabbles.

The Incredible Evolution of the Olympics The Olympics have evolved dramatically over the past 112 years while a few elements remain forever a part of the games.

Olympic Events Through History Olympic events have changed dramatically over time. Here's the full history.

Study: The Pose of a Champion Is Innate Innate physical gestures of pride and shame may be innate human responses to success and failure.

Referees Prefer Athletes In Red Referees may be biased in favor of athletes wearing red, awarding them more points.

What is Blood Doping? Blood doping increases an athlete's red blood cell count and boosts performance.

China Likely to Win More Medals Than in Years Past China's growing population and wealth mean it should win more medals in this year's Summer Olympic Games.

8/8/2008: Running the Real Numbers on Numerology The Beijing Olympics will begin at exactly 8:08:08 PM on 8/8/08 because the number 8 is considered lucky in China.

What Exactly Is the Olympic Tradition? The Olympics should uphold a set of values that underlies all Olympic activities and can extend well beyond the playing field, thereby distinguishing the Olympic Games from all other sporting events.

Olympic Sprinters Nearest Starting Gun Get Advantage Reaction times for getting out of the blocks depend in part on how close a runner is to the starting gun.

Caveman vs. Modern Human: Who Would Win Olympic Gold? Human ancestors may win Olympic power sports, but modern humans can run.

The Stranglehold of Weather on Beijing's Air Quality Beijing's efforts to control air pollution help, but they aren't the main influence on pollution levels.

Olympics Wise Up On Gender Testing, Finally Gender screening has become outdated in the Olympics.

Falun Gong: Oppressed Movement or Just Plain Wacky? Although the banned Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong gets much positive press in the West, most Western practitioners have little idea how bizarre the Falun Gong principles are and how useless the exercises are.

What Do the Olympic Rings Symbolize? The meaning of the Olympic Games' five interlocking rings is not at all black-and-white.

Ancient Olympic Calculator Discovered An ancient astronomy calculator appears to show the four-year cycle of the early Greek competitions that inspired today's Olympic Games.

How Bubble Wrap Could Power the Future The Water Cube's outer structure is made of air-filled polymer cushions that require 200 times less energy than glass. Dog Meat Off Menus During Olympics Canine cuisine is being sent to the doghouse during next month's Beijing Olympic Games.

China to Force Rain Ahead of Olympics Chinese meteorologists say they can force rain in the days before the Olympics, through a process known as cloud-seeding, to clean the air and ensure clear skies.

Live Science Staff
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