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27 Aug 2008
IOC News

Visa encouraged kids to draw on their imaginations

Visa “Olympics of the Imagination” programme launched four years ago and, since that time, millions of kids have taken part in the competition. Even more impressive is the 255 children from 44 countries aged 10 to 14 who have gotten to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing thanks to Visa.

Olympic spirit
Scot Smythe, Senior Vice President of Visa International, says, "We believe that the unifying nature of the Olympic Games brings together people and communities in a way so as to enhance their lives. The Visa “Olympics of the Imagination” embodied that spirit, bringing together the young people from 18 nations to demonstrate through art the Olympic spirit."

Use your imagination
The programme challenged school children to use their imaginations to create a piece of art based on the theme of global unity: “Show how the Olympic Games connect different cultures and capture the Beijing theme – One World, One Dream.” The winners were given the opportunity to come to Beijing as a guest of Visa Inc.
Thirty winners were chosen based on their various themes: “Dare to Dream”, “Games for Peace”, and “Unified World” were just a few of the innovative ideas thought up by kids from across the globe.  The programme began in March of last year and the 30 winners were selected from Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Each country funnels into China
One of the winners, Brianna Hartness of Canada, drew a picture of the Earth with all the countries’ flags channelling into China. The caption read, “Each country funnels into Beijing for the Olympic Games, bringing with them a whirlwind of excitement, energy and competitive spirit.”
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