vendredi 29 juillet 2016

Places where Olympics took place

France has seen many Olympic Games. As the "founder", Baron Pierre de Coubertin was French, France and French have strong ties with them.

Winter Games:

Three times France has been the host: 1924 was the first time the Winter Games took place, and it was in Chamonix. 5 sports for 9 different competitions... Quite less than our actual Olympic Games with 7 sports and 15 disciplines.

Second time was in Grenoble in 1968: 37 nations were present for the tenth Winter Games.

Third time in Albertville, in 1992, was my first real exposition to winter sports on television. I was 10 and I loved to watch biathlon, bobsleigh, figure skating (that's a sport I already watched), or ski jumping.

Summer Games:

Paris held two times the Olympics: in 1900 and 1924. The 1924 Games (VIIIth Olympics) saw 44 nations competing. 17 sports and 23 disciplines were "fought" by 2954 men and 135 women.

All the pictures in this post are from the website Les


Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together. Today, you can find more geography and flag posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers:

All about Chile - Multicultural Kid Blogs
France: Places Where the Olympics Took Place - La Cité des Vents
South Africa's Flag: A Symbol of Unity and Progress - Globe Trottin' Kids
Brazilian Flag Infographic - the piri-piri lexicon
Flying the Dutch Flag - Expat Life with a Double Buggy

Don't forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.

lundi 25 juillet 2016

Sports to try when visiting France

Visiting France for foreigners has a feel of "Yes, I've been there!!!" However, if some places are huge touristic areas (say: Paris city, Alsace, Côte d'Azur, Provence, Vallée de la Loire, the island of Corse, etc), the possibilities for enjoying my lovely country are far more diverse.

As the Olympic Games will start next month, let see which sports you can try while touring France. [Post from the MKB series during the 2016 Olympic Games]

Hiking in the mountains

A definitly easy (or not) sport to do! France has several mountain ranges, some high (Alpes, Pyrénées) and others more medium (Vosges, Massif Central). Ask the tourist office in the city or village of your choice, and they will explain you all the hiking roads and paths in the area!

Hiking in the mountains was part of my childhood experiences. Living at the foot of the Pyrénées (in Céret, Pyrénées-Orientales), each year my scholls organized a pic-nic in the mountains. We even crossed a couple of time the border between France and Spain... and if the teachers hadn't tell us, we would have never known! Because a pathway on the top of a mountain looks the same in both countries. ;-)

Lac des Bouillouses, Pyrénées-Orientales, France. Photo: Office de tourisme des PO

Canoeing on the rivers

Ok, it's not everywhere you can go canoeing, but do it if you are near gorges (= canyon): gorges du Tarn, gorges de l'Ardèche, gorges de l'Hérault, gorges du Verdon... The list is open!

My mother is not really of the adventurous type, so I never tried canoeing. I hope I will be able to do it with my kids when they will be a bit older.

image: North of the Dordogne.


Nothing is like pétanque when in holidays. That's the friendly yet competitive, slow yet precise, sport you can enjoy with your family, friends or people you know nothing about. It's a custom in the South of France, and you can play it in the whole country (we even have some pétanque sand pit in my town in Germany!!!) Be careful not to lose the cochonnet, and don't walk in the middle of game: you would be in serious danger of "verbal abuse" from the players you have disturbed. Pétanque is not a child game, it's serious matter!

Crédit photo: wikipedia

Horse riding

If you like horseriding, France has many opportunities for you to both discover the landscape and have a good time with a horse. Riding in woods, in the countryside or on the beaches, pick what you prefer!

Crédit: farandride

Rock Climbing

I tried it once in my childhood, but I'm not as balanced as needed for this sport. On this website, you have a list of all the good rock climbing places in France. You can't say you didn't know where to go!

Rock climbing in Bourgogne

Char à voile

The website of the French federation lists all the clubs where you can do some char à voile. My son has seen a video of that sport and now he can't wait to be big enough to try it! (Have I told you how adventurous he is?)

Credit: Ouest-France

Motor sports

You like to go fast or drive through the mountains? Check the website of the French Federation of Motor Sports for all the dates of the future rallyes, where you can train, etc. (website in French only). It's not my cup of tea, but I know people who love to discover a region that way.

Grand circuit du Roussillon

Skiing and everything "winter sports"

This is it! You're coming to France in winter, and you would be eager to mix touring and winter sports? Haha! We have everything you want (and more) in France! It's not for nothing that the Winter Olympic Games have been held 3 times in my country (in the Alpes)! If you go to Chamonix, Grenoble or Albertville, you will be able to play many winter sports. But you have also wonderful ski pists in the Pyrénées.


Now, you have been warned. France is a sportive country!


Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together. Today, you can find more about other travel posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers:

Explore Wild Nature in Latvia - Multicultural Kid Blogs
Sports to Try When Visiting France - La Cité des Vents
A Journey in South Africa - Globe Trottin' Kids
Sports to Try When Visiting France - La Cité des Vents
Traveling to Chile - La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Tomar, Portugal: the Last Templar Town - the piri-piri lexicon
7 Places to Explore in the Netherlands - Expat Life with a Double Buggy
Explore Buenos Aires, Argentina - Hispanic Mama
Kid-Friendly Vacation in Puerto Rico - Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes

Don't forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.

mercredi 20 juillet 2016

Best Olympics sports for French people/ Meilleurs sports aux JO pour la France

Chaque pays prenant part aux Jeux Olympiques a des sports dans lesquels ses sportifs ont plus de chance de remporter des médailles. Pour les meilleures performances de la France dans les Jeux Olympiques d'Eté, on peut compter les disciplines suivantes:
Each country taking part in Olympic Games has some sports in which their athletes have more chance of winning medals. For the best performances of France in the Summer Olympic Games, we can count the following sports:

Escrime / Fencing

Que ce soit au fleuret, à l'épée ou au sabre, la France est considérée comme d'une des meilleurs nations en escrime. Depuis le début des JO, 115 médailles ont été gagnées. 41 en or, 40 en argent et 34 en bronze.
Foil, sword, sabre, France is considered one of the best countries in fencing. Since the beginning of the Olympics, 115 medals have been won: 41 golden, 40 silver, 34 bronze.

Equipe de sabre féminin JO 2016

Cyclisme / Cycling

De nombreuses disciplines sont sous cette dénomination: cyclisme sur piste, sur route, VTT et BMX. En tout, les Français ont eu 92 médailles: 41 en or, 27 en argent, 22 en bronze.
Many different types of cycling exist: road cycling, track cycling, VTT and BMX. In total, French succeed 92 times to win a medal: 41 gold, 27 silver and 22 bronze.

Jeannie Longo, so many races won and records set!!!
Par Fanny Schertzer — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, wikipedia

Athlétisme / Athletism

Avec 61 médailles, la France arrive à chaque JO à rafler au moins une ou deux médailles. Les athlètes français sont meilleurs en saut à la perche, course de vitesse et relais en général. 14 médailles en or, 22 en argent et 25 en bronze.
With 61 medals, France usually win one or two medals at each Olympics. French athlets are better at pole-vault, track run and relay. 14 gold, 22 silver and 25 bronze.

Par Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia
Renaud Lavillenie (here in 2012), vaulting pole recordman in World championship and Olympics.


Depuis quelques décennies, la France a misé sur ses judokas pour remporter des médailles. 47 médailles au total sont assez exceptionnelles pour un pays qui s'est mis à la pratique des arts martiaux assez tard par rapport aux pas plus "historiques" comme le Japon ou la Chine. Les judokas français ont combattus vaillement pour obtenir 12 médailles en or, 10 en argent et 25 en bronze.
For a few decades, France improved their judokas training to win medals. 47 in total is rather exceptional for a country that is not a country of origin for martial arts, like Japan or China. French judokas won 12 golden medals, 10 silver and 25 bronze.

Par Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia

Par XIIIfromTOKYO — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia
Championnat du monde 2010

Viennent ensuite, la natation, le tir, le tir à l'arc, la voile, la gymnastique, le canoë-kayak et l'aviron.
You have also these sports which French are often good at: swimming, shooting, archery, sailing, gymnastic, canoë-kayak, rowing.

Donc si vous voulez entendre la Marseillaise durant les cérémonies de remise des médailles, suivez l'une de ces compétition!
So if you want to listen to la Marseillaise during one of the medals ceremony, watch these competitions!


Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together.
Today, you can find more about other posts about the Summer Games thanks to our participating bloggers:

Let the Summer Games Begin! - Multicultural Kid Blogs
Best Olympic Sports for French People - La Cité des Vents
Summer Olympics Party for Kids - using resources wisely
The Summer Games - La Clase de Sra. DuFault

Don't forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.

vendredi 15 juillet 2016

Baron Pierre de Coubertin & the modern Olympics

Do you know why we have each four years Summer Olympic Games?

It's all thank to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French noble who thought that sports could be a force to unite nations and bring peace!

His education and upbringing

Born in Paris, on the 1st January 1863, Charles Pierre Frédy de Coubertin could have followed his ancestors' path into military offices but he prefered to pursue academical fonctions. Even if his family was of noble class, he chose to follow politically the republicans, which caused great disputes with his father, a staunch royalist. He threw himself into education, sports, literature, history and sociology, the two first being his main subjects of work.

During his researches and readings, he started to develop his theory of physical education, based primarily on the ancient Greek example of the gymnasium (a training facility encouraging both physical and intellectual development).

For him, unity in these places, such as old and young people working and learning together different disciplines, or practical and theorical studies both possible, was a kind of ideal humanity forget along the centuries.

His ideas were also forged on a will of preparing better men for war and of a democratic approach of sports (although classes brought together wasn't in his theories).

Having failed in his propositions of more physical education in schools, Pierre de Coubertin devoted his time in a new endeavour: the revival of the Olympic Games.

The modern Olympic Games

If he was not the only one who wanted more internationalism in sports, he was the one behind the 1896 Summer Olympics. At a Congress on amateurs in sports, held in Paris the 23rd of June 1894, he supported the choice of Athens for a first international competition (however at first he wasn't sure the Greek government had the potential to host such a special competition). The four years cycle was also voted as did the banning of money prizes in the contests and the amteurism of the participants (no professional allowed, which is not the case anymore).

The closer the Games came, the lesser the Greek government used the services of Coubertin. On the international front, Coubertin had issues with the German athletes who suspected that he wanted to exclude them (because of the Franco-Prussian war Germany won) and the French who didn't want any German in this competition. It was luckily settled before the Games.

Even if the first Olympic Games were a success with 14 competiting nations (despise some bumps in the road like the cancellation of the football tournament due to lack of participating teams!), the Paris Games in 1900 and the Saint-Louis Games in 1904 were shadowed by the World Fairs organized at the same time in these cities and marred with scandals. Pierre de Coubertin didn't take much part in the organization of them.

Working in the background with the creation of the International Olympic Committee, he became his first president in 1896 until 1925. We can thank him on designing the Olympic flag in 1913, on the Olympic charter and on the olympic devise: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger).

He has also declared:
The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

Other details of his life:

Pierre de Coubertin was a sportsman: he enjoyed fencing, horseriding, boxing and rowing.

In 1911, he founded the inter-religious Scouting organisation Éclaireurs Français (EF) in France.

He won the gold medal for literature at the 1912 Summer Olympics for his poem Ode to Sport.

He was definitly a man of his time. Women in sports' competitions were not an option for him, as much as for many doctors of that time who argued that violent movements weren't good for the women physical health and that they should keep on procreating and not working up like a warrior. He is also seen as a racist. However, he viewed many "primitive" ethnies as physicaly superior, because the "white men" grew out of their nature and forget their abilities.

The legacy of Pierre de Coubertin is still alive. We will soon celebrate new Olympic Games, in Brazil this time. We hope that the athletes, judges and coaches will keep their oath of sportsmanship and fairness, and that the sports will prevail and bring unity and peace... Eventhough we know how much they have already pained the local populations with their preparation (something Coubertin wouldn't have agreed with).

Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together.
Today, you can find more about Olympic history and famous athletes from various countries around the world.

Judoka: Rafaela Silva - Multicultural Kid Blogs

South Africa's First Olympians - Globe Trottin' Kids
Chile: Important Names and Winners - La clase de Sra. DuFault 
Female Athletes to Watch in 2016 - Use Resources Wisely
Jefferson Perez: The Only Olympic Medalist in Ecuador - Hispanic Mama
Fastest Man/Woman in the World - Kid World Citizen
Olympisch Stadion in Amsterdam - Expat Life with a Double Buggy
Baron Pierre de Coubertin & the modern Olympics - La Cité des Vents
Don't forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.


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