April 30, marks the 100 Day Countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. This significant milestone will be celebrated in Beijing and throughout the world as athletes and teams across the globe continue their preparation for the XXIX Olympiad this summer. We invite you to read more about these activities and tune in to enjoy the programming outlined below.
The Tonight Show
The broadcast of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (on Tuesday, April 29), welcomed U.S. Olympic taekwondo athletes Steven, Mark and Diana Lopez. On April 5, the trio became the first three siblings to make the U.S. Olympic Team since 1904. They will be coached in Beijing by their eldest brother, Jean Lopez, a former world-class taekwondo athlete.
The Today Show
On Wednesday, April 30, the Today Show will commemorate the 100 Day Countdown with numerous guests and program segments. The show will feature a BMX demonstration featuring U.S. athletes Kyle Bennett, Donny Robinson and Arielle Martin, along with a brave member of the Today Show staff, in the Today Show Plaza. The show will also present Olympic apparel from Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren modeled by U.S. Olympic hopefuls. The apparel presentation will highlight the BMX uniform U.S. athletes will wear in Beijing, medal stand apparel designed by Nike, and the Closing Ceremony parade outfits created by Polo Ralph Lauren.
Hilton’s Month-Long Kids Initiative
In celebration of the 100 Day Countdown, The Hilton Family of Hotels will unveil a new children’s book inspired by the Olympic Ideals and a month-long kids initiative in which U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls will lead book readings for local kids at Hilton Family hotels across the country. Olympic gymnast Morgan Hamm and author/illustrator Todd Parr will lead the first reading Wednesday during an event at the Hilton New York in New York City. The Hilton Family’s be hospitable: A World United Edition includes messages of teamwork, graciousness and multiculturalism, and teaches kids to accept others’ differences. A portion of the book's proceeds will benefit the U.S. Paralympic Team. Throughout the eight-city tour, athletes from numerous sports will read the book aloud and then lead a discussion and share their own personal stories. Hotel team members will also help kids complete their own hospitable gestures – good luck cards that will be presented to U.S. Olympians and Paralympians upon their departure for Beijing.
Beijing Organizing Committee
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the XXIX Olympiad has numerous activities planned for the 100 Day Countdown. A three-hour celebration will take place in the Forbidden City, featuring the debut of the Olympic theme song “Beijing Welcomes You.” A number of high-profile Chinese stars, including actor Jackie Chan, will perform the song live on CCTV and BTV. A Sport for All Marathon will feature nearly 1,000 people on 200 teams, which will start from the Olympic Park and cover a 31.5 km route to the National Stadium. Other events include the Samsung Cup 2008 Long Distance Running event, a Beijing walkathon and a sports carnival.
Olympic Week in America
Olympic Week in America 2008 takes place May 5-9. This USOC Education program provides a comprehensive week-long unit of lesson plans related to the Olympic Games that focuses on the positive messages associated with the Olympic Ideals and Values. This year’s materials place a strong emphasis on Beijing, and the program has been expanded to grades kindergarten through 8. Materials are free to educators by accessing them at www.usolympicteam.com.