|The Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. They were first staged on
the ancient plains of Olympia in Greece, famous for its temples to the gods Zeus and Hera. The games were dedicated to the Olympian gods, and athletes competed in a number of events, including the marathon.|
The first Olympic Games of the modern era took place in 1896 in Athens,
Greece. Approximately 300 athletes from 13 countries took part, competing in
nine different sports.
The Beijing Olympic Games are to be held from 8 to 24 August 2008 in China.
Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate, with around 20,000 media representatives relaying the thrills and excitement of the Opening Ceremony and moments of athletic glory to the rest of the world.
The dragon stamp design
This single 50c commemorative stamp features the mythical Chinese dragon
which was a symbol of imperial power in China. Dragons can be seen on
Chinese buildings and art, and the symbolic dragon plays an important role
in cultural festivals and celebrations. The people of China often refer to
themselves as "descendants of the dragon" and the Dragon is used around the world as a symbol of Chinese culture.
Some historians believe that the Chinese dragon is based on a creature not dissimilar to the Komodo dragon, which has a long, forked yellow-orange