Beijing 2008: providing an Olympic Education to China’s Schoolchildren
The world’s largest ever Olympic education programme was undertaken in schools across China.
Designed to leave a lasting legacy to China’s younger generation, the Beijing Olympic Games Educational Programme integrated the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect into the curriculum of more than 400,000 schools, attended by 400 million children.
Giving his support to the initiative, IOC President Jacques Rogge told pupils: “The sports arena is like a classroom. There we learn to live together, in society; there we learn solidarity and friendship; there we learn respect for each other.”
Bringing the Olympic values to schoolchildren
China invented new ways to promote Olympism: special textbooks were created introducing students to the history and ideals of the Olympic Movement. The Beijing 2008 motto - “One World, One Dream” – was used in various ways such as into plays and in the staging of Olympic Games opening ceremonies in schoolyards. Less popular Olympic sports were introduced, and the concept of fair play was underlined in all sports activities.
Heart-to-Heart scheme: breaking down borders and making friends
Through the “Heart-to-Heart” scheme, over 200 Beijing schools “adopted” sister schools in other countries. This allowed students to learn about other countries’ geography, language, culture, flag and even their national anthem. During the Beijing Games, the children met their sister school’s Olympic team athletes, helping to promote the values of international friendship and respect.