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August 5, 2012
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

If you have been like us you have been busy watching the Olympics and the summer Olympics have so much to offer. The events in the summer Olympics include archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, football (soccer), gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, kayaking, marathon, pentathlon, ping-pong, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, track and field (many running, jumping and throwing events), triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling (both freestyle and Greco Roman). With a list like that there should be something for everyone. I especially like gymnastics, swimming and track. My husband, however, likes the winter Olympics better and is sometimes reading while I'm watching.

This year the summer Olympics are in London, England. The opening ceremony was on July 27, and the closing ceremony will be held on August 12, 2012. I could really remember how impressive and colorful the opening was when it was held in China. I just had the thought that Great Britain could never put together a program that could compare with what China had done.

However, when you have James Bond, Harry Potter and a Queen you have a very good cast. I especially liked how they brought their history and pastoral scenes into their ceremony. The highlight had to be Queen Elisabeth as a Bond girl and parachuting into the arena. Who says the English don't have a sense of humor.

The Greeks held the first Olympic games in the year 776 BC, over 2700 years ago and had only one event, a sprint. The race was by men who competed in the nude. A wreath of olive branches was placed on the winner's head. The olive tree was the sacred tree of Athens, Greece. Women were neither allowed to compete in the games nor to watch them, because the games were dedicated to Zeus and were therefore meant for men. When more sports were added and expanded the games were held every 4 years. However, in 394 the Olympic games were banned by Greece's emperor Theodosis II. 1500 years later Pierre de Fredy Baron de Coubertinn, a french educator and sportsman revived the Olympic games. An all-male Olympic games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece.

Women first took part in the Olympic games at Paris in 1900, four years after the first Olympic games of the modern games. Out of the 997 athletes competing 22 were women. They only competed in five sports; tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian and golf were the only sports. A difference today is that women participate in all sports. This year for the first time women's boxing will be included. The Olympic charter now recognize the equality of men and women. Now little girls can set their sites on being in the Olympics.

This is the time of the year when we are enjoying sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage. The Olympics and hot weather has kept me from canning my vegetable soup, something I like to make for gifts and winter weather. Kevin has had just wonderful cabbage and I have used it in cole slaw but I had a cabbage recipe I wanted to try. It turned out quite tasty.


1 medium head of


1 tsp. sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt


1 cup milk

bacon strips

Shred cabbage into buttered 2 quart baking dish. Mix sugar, flour, salt, pepper and milk. Pour over cabbage. Cover with strips of bacon. Bake 40 to 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove cover so bacon will crisp. Serves 5.

The Olympic motto is, Citius, Altius, Fortius which means Swifter, Higher, Stronger."



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