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The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (Chinese: 第二十九届夏季奥林匹克运动会; pinyin: Dì Èrshíjiǔ Jiè Xiàjì Àolínpǐkè Yùndònghuì) and commonly known as Beijing
Beijing
2008, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 8 to 24 August 2008 in Beijing, China.[a] A total of 10,942 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competed in 28 sports and 302 events (one event more than those scheduled for the 2004 Games). This was the first time that China
China
had hosted the Summer Olympics, but the third time that the Games had been held in East Asia, following the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Beijing
Beijing
was awarded the 2008 Games over four competitors on 13 July 2001, having won a majority of votes from members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after two rounds of voting.[2] The Government of the People's Republic of China
China
promoted the Games and invested heavily in new facilities and transportation systems. A total of 37 venues were used to host the events, including twelve constructed specifically for use at the Games. The equestrian events were held in Hong Kong, making this the third Olympics for which the events were held under the jurisdiction of two different NOCs.[b] The sailing events were contested in Qingdao, while the football events took place in several different cities. The official logo for the 2008 Games, titled "Dancing Beijing", featured a stylized calligraphic character jīng (京, meaning capital) in reference to the host city. Some politicians and non-governmental organizations criticized the choice of China
China
as Olympic host because of the country's human rights record,[3][4] and political protests (particularly focused on Tibet) marred the international portion of the Olympic torch relay. Despite this, the 2008 Games are widely considered to be the most successful of all time.[5][6] The event was also the most expensive Olympic Games
Olympic Games
ever held (at the time), reaching an estimated total cost of US$44 billion.[7] The opening ceremony was commended by spectators and the international press alike, and described by people round the globe as "the greatest ever".[8] This was the most watched Olympics in history, attracting 4.7 billion viewers worldwide and gaining an entry in the Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
as the "Largest TV audience for an Olympic Games".[9][10] An unprecedented 86 countries won at least one medal during the Games. China
China
won the most gold medals, with 48, and became only the 7th different Olympic team to top an overall medal tally, winning a total of 100 medals overall. The United States won the highest number of medals, with a total of 111, and placed second in the gold medal tally followed by Russia. The Games were unquestionably an outstanding display of the rising standard of competition amongst nations across the world. Beijing
Beijing
has been selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics; it will be the first city ever to host both the Summer and Winter Games.

Contents

1 Organization

1.1 Bid 1.2 Costs 1.3 Venues 1.4 Transport 1.5 Marketing 1.6 Media coverage 1.7 Theme song

2 Torch relay 3 Calendar 4 Olympic and world records 5 Games

5.1 Opening ceremony 5.2 Sports 5.3 Closing ceremony 5.4 Medal table

6 Participating National Olympic Committees

6.1 National participation changes 6.2 Participation of athletes with disabilities

7 Concerns and controversies 8 Legacy 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links

Organization[edit] Bid[edit] Main article: Bids for the 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing
Beijing
was elected as the host city for the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
on 13 July 2001, during the 112th IOC Session in Moscow, defeating bids from Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. Prior to the session, five other cities (Bangkok, Cairo, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and Seville) had submitted bids to the IOC, but failed to make the short list chosen by the IOC Executive Committee in 2000. After the first round of voting, Beijing
Beijing
held a significant lead over the other four candidates. Osaka received only six votes and was eliminated. In the second round, Beijing
Beijing
was supported by a majority of voters, eliminating the need for subsequent rounds.[11] Toronto's bid was their 5th failure since 1960 (failed bid for 1960, 1964, 1976 and 1996 games losing to Rome, Tokyo, Montreal and Atlanta).[12] Members of the IOC did not disclose their votes, but news reports speculated that broad international support led to China's selection, especially from developing nations who had received assistance from China
China
in the construction of stadiums. The size of China, its increased enforcement of doping controls, and sympathy concerning its loss of the 2000 Summer Olympics
2000 Summer Olympics
to Sydney were all factors in the decision.[13] Eight years earlier, Beijing
Beijing
had led every round of voting for the 2000 Summer Olympics
2000 Summer Olympics
before losing to Sydney by two votes in the final round.[14] Human rights concerns expressed by Amnesty International
Amnesty International
and politicians in both Europe and the United States were considered by the delegates, according to IOC Executive Director François Carrard. Carrard and others suggested that the selection might lead to improvements in human rights in China. In addition, a number of IOC delegates who had formerly been athletes expressed concern about heat and air quality during the Games, considering the high levels of air pollution in Beijing. China
China
outlined plans to address these environmental concerns in its bid application.[13]

2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
bidding results

City Nation Round 1 Round 2

Beijing  China 44 56

Toronto  Canada 20 22

Paris  France 15 18

Istanbul  Turkey 17 9

Osaka  Japan 6 —

Costs[edit] The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Beijing
Beijing
2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
at USD 6.8 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 2% in real terms.[15] This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The Beijing
Beijing
Olympics' cost of USD 6.8 billion compares with costs of USD 4.6 billion for Rio 2016 and USD 15 billion for London 2012. Average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is USD 5.2 billion. On 6 March 2009, the Beijing
Beijing
Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games reported that total spending on the games was "generally as much as that of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games", which was equivalent to about US$15 billion. They went on to claim that surplus revenues from the Games would exceed the original target of $16 million.[16] Other reports, however, estimated the total costs from $40 billion to $44 billion, which would make the Games "far and away the most expensive ever".[17][18][19] Its budget has since been exceeded by the 2014 Winter Olympics
2014 Winter Olympics
in Sochi, which suffered from major cost overruns, causing the budget to exceed US$51 billion.[20][21] Canadian Solar Constructed the 2000m Landscape Avenue Project for the Beijing
Beijing
Olympic Games
Olympic Games
Stadium in 2008.[22] Venues[edit] Main articles: 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
venues, Olympic Green, and Beijing National Stadium By May 2007 the construction of all 31 Beijing-based Olympic Games venues had begun.[23] The Chinese government renovated and constructed six venues outside Beijing
Beijing
as well as 59 training centres. The largest structures built were the Beijing
Beijing
National Stadium, Beijing
Beijing
National Indoor Stadium, Beijing
Beijing
National Aquatics Center, Olympic Green Convention Center, Olympic Green, and Beijing
Beijing
Wukesong Culture & Sports Center. Almost 85% of the construction budget for the six main venues was funded by $2.1 billion (RMB¥17.4 billion) in corporate bids and tenders. Investments were expected from corporations seeking ownership rights after the Olympics.[24] Some events were held outside Beijing, namely football in Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin; sailing in Qingdao; and, because of the "uncertainties of equine diseases and major difficulties in establishing a disease-free zone", the equestrian events were held in Hong Kong.[25]

The Beijing
Beijing
National Stadium, dubbed "The Bird's Nest"

The Beijing
Beijing
National Aquatics Center, dubbed "The Water Cube"

The centrepiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
was the Beijing
Beijing
National Stadium, nicknamed "The Bird's Nest" because of its nest-like skeletal structure. The stadium hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics competition.[26] Construction of the venue began on 24 December 2003. The Guangdong Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium
was originally planned, constructed, and completed in 2001 to help host the Games, but a decision was made to construct a new stadium in Beijing.[27] In 2001, the city held a bidding process to select the best arena design. Several criteria were required of each design, including flexibility for post-Olympics use, a retractable roof, and low maintenance costs.[28] The entry list was narrowed to thirteen final designs.[29] The bird's nest model submitted by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in collaboration with Li Xinggang of China
China
Architecture Design and Research Group (CADG) was selected as the top design by both a professional panel and by a broader audience during a public exhibition. The selection of the design became official in April 2003.[28] Construction of the stadium was a joint venture among the original designers, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist Ai Weiwei, and a group of CADG architects led by Li Xinggang. Its $423 million cost was funded by the state-owned corporate conglomerate CITIC and the Beijing
Beijing
State-Owned Assets Management Company.[28][30] The 2008 Beijing
Beijing
Olympics caused traditional Hutong
Hutong
neighborhoods to be cleared for the construction of modern Olympic stadiums. In an effort to ensure success for the games, the government invested billions in building new infrastructure, although clearance to tiny, outdated neighborhoods in Beijing
Beijing
called hutongs resulted (Petrun). Jim Yardley, a New York Times reporter interviews Pan Jinyu, a 64-year-old local resident: "They [the government] don’t want foreigners to see this scarred old face". Feng Shuqin and her husband, Zheng Zhanlin have lived in their house for 50 years and the family has owned the property before the Communists took control in 1949. The government, trying to clear the area, has offered them to move with a compensatory sum of $175,000 USD, but the family insists the land is worth $1.4 million USD (Yardley). Michael Meyer, an American who lives in the hutongs reported that a total of 500,000 residents were relocated from their homes before the Olympics began (Meyer). Transport[edit]

A map of the Olympic venues in Beijing. Several expressways encircle the center of the city, providing for quick transportation around the city and between venues.

To prepare for Olympic visitors, Beijing's transportation infrastructure was expanded. Beijing's airport underwent a major renovation with the addition of the new Terminal 3, designed by architect Norman Foster.[31] Within the city itself, Beijing's subway was doubled in capacity and length, with the addition of 7 lines and 80 stations to the previously existing 4 lines and 64 stations. Included in this expansion was a new link connecting to the city's airport. A fleet of thousands of buses, minibuses, and official cars transported spectators, athletes, and officials between venues.[32][33] In an effort to improve air quality, the city placed restrictions on construction sites and gas stations, and limited the use of commercial and passenger vehicles in Beijing.[34] From 20 June through 20 September, passenger vehicle restrictions were placed on alternate days depending on the terminal digit of the car's license plate. It was anticipated that this measure would take 45% of Beijing's 3.3 million cars off the streets. The boosted public transport network was expected to absorb the demand created by these restrictions and the influx of visitors, which was estimated at more than 4 million additional passengers per day.[35] Marketing[edit] Main article: 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
marketing

Inside Beijing
Beijing
National Stadium during the Games. Olympic cauldron
Olympic cauldron
in background.

The 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
emblem was known as Dancing Beijing. The emblem combined a traditional Chinese red seal and a representation of the calligraphic character jīng (京, "national capital", also the second character of Beijing's Chinese name) with athletic features. The open arms of the calligraphic word symbolized the invitation from China
China
to the world to share in its culture. IOC president
IOC president
Jacques Rogge was very happy with the emblem, saying, "Your new emblem immediately conveys the awesome beauty and power of China
China
which are embodied in your heritage and your people."[36] The official motto for the 2008 Olympics was "One World, One Dream" (同一个世界 同一个梦想).[37] It called upon the whole world to join in the Olympic spirit and build a better future for humanity, and was chosen from over 210,000 entries submitted from around the world.[38] Following the announcement of the motto, the phrase was used by international advocates of Tibetan secession. Banners reading "One World, One Dream, Free Tibet" were unfurled from various structures around the globe in the lead up to the Beijing
Beijing
Olympics, such as from the San Francisco
San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.[39] The mascots of Beijing
Beijing
2008 were the five Fuwa, each representing both a colour of the Olympic rings and a symbol of Chinese culture. In 2006, the Beijing
Beijing
Organizing Committee released pictograms of 35 Olympic disciplines (for some multi-discipline sports, such as cycling, a single pictogram was released).[40][41] This set of sport icons was named the beauty of seal characters, because of each pictogram's likeness to Chinese seal script.[41] Media coverage[edit] Further information: List of 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
broadcasters The 2008 Games were the first to be produced and broadcast entirely in high definition by the host broadcaster.[42] In comparison, American broadcaster NBC
NBC
broadcast only half of the 2006 Turin Winter Games in HD.[43][44] In their bid for the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in 2001, Beijing
Beijing
stated to the Olympic Evaluation Commission that there would be, "[N]o restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games."[45] However, some media outlets claimed that organizers ultimately failed to live up to this commitment.[c] According to Nielsen Media Research, 4.7 billion viewers worldwide tuned into some of the television coverage, one-fifth larger than the 3.9 billion who watched the 2004 Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Athens. American broadcaster NBC
NBC
produced only 2 hours of online streaming video for the 2006 Winter Games but produced approximately 2,200 hours of coverage for the 2008 Summer Games. CNN
CNN
reported that, for the first time, "live online video rights in some markets for the Olympics have been separately negotiated, not part of the overall 'broadcast rights.'" The new media of the digital economy was said to be growing "nine times faster than the rest of the advertising market."[46] The international European Broadcasting Union
European Broadcasting Union
(EBU) provided live coverage and highlights of all arenas only for certain territories on their website, Eurovisionsports.tv.[47] Many national broadcasters likewise restricted the viewing of online events to their domestic audiences.[48] The General National Copyright Administration of China announced that "individual (sic) and websites will face fines as high as 100,000 yuan for uploading recordings of Olympic Games
Olympic Games
video to the internet",[49] part of an extensive campaign to protect the pertinent intellectual property rights.[50][51] The Olympic Committee also set up a separate YouTube channel at Beijing
Beijing
2008.[52] Theme song[edit] The theme song of the 2008 Olympic Games
Olympic Games
was "You and Me," which was composed by Chen Qigang, the musical director of the opening ceremony. It was performed during the opening ceremony by Chinese singer Liu Huan and British singer Sarah Brightman.[53][54] Torch relay[edit]

2008 Olympic Torch
Olympic Torch
in Vilnius, Lithuania

Main articles: 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay
2008 Summer Olympics torch relay
and 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay route The design of the 2008 Olympic Torch
Olympic Torch
was based on traditional scrolls and used a traditional Chinese design known as the "Propitious Clouds" (祥云). The torch was designed to remain lit in 65 km/h (40 mph) winds, and in rain of up to 50 mm (2 in) per hour.[55] The relay, with the theme "Journey of Harmony", was met with protests and demonstrations by pro- Tibet
Tibet
supporters throughout its journey. It lasted 130 days and carried the torch 137,000 km (85,000 mi)—the longest distance of any Olympic torch relay since the tradition began at the 1936 Berlin Games.[56][57] The torch relay was described as a "public relations disaster" for China
China
by USA Today,[58] with protests against China's human rights record, particularly focused on Tibet. The IOC subsequently barred future Olympics organizers from staging international torch relays.[59] The relay began 24 March 2008, in Olympia, Greece. From there, it traveled across Greece to Panathinaiko Stadium
Panathinaiko Stadium
in Athens, and then to Beijing, arriving on 31 March. From Beijing, the torch followed a route passing through every continent except Antarctica. The torch visited cities on the Silk Road, symbolizing ancient links between China
China
and the rest of the world. A total of 21,880 torchbearers were selected from around the world by various organizations and entities.[60] The international portion of the relay was problematic. The month-long world tour encountered wide-scale anti-Chinese protests. After trouble in London involving attempts by protesters to put out the flame, the torch was extinguished in Paris
Paris
the following day.[61] The American leg in San Francisco
San Francisco
on 9 April was altered without prior warning to avoid such disturbances, although there were still demonstrations along the original route.[62] The relay was further delayed and simplified after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake
2008 Sichuan earthquake
hit western China.[63]

Route of the 2008 Olympic Torch
Olympic Torch
Relay

The flame was carried to the top of Mount Everest[60] on a 108 km (67 mi) long "highway" scaling the Tibetan side of the mountain, built especially for the relay. The $19.7 million blacktop project spanned from Tingri County
Tingri County
of Xigazê Prefecture
Xigazê Prefecture
to the Everest Base Camp.[64] In March 2008, China
China
banned mountaineers from climbing its side of Mount Everest, and later persuaded the Nepalese government to close their side as well, officially citing environmental concerns.[65] It also reflected concerns by the Chinese government that Tibet
Tibet
activists may try to disrupt its plans to carry the Olympic torch up the world's tallest peak.[66] The originally proposed route would have taken the torch through Taipei
Taipei
after leaving Vietnam and before heading for Hong Kong. However, the government of Taiwan (then led by the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party) objected to this proposal, claiming that this route would make the portion of the relay in Taiwan appear to be part of the torch's domestic journey through China, rather than a leg on the international route.[67] This dispute, as well as Chinese demands that the flag and the national anthem of the Republic of China
China
be banned along the route led the government of Taiwan to reject the proposal that it be part of the relay route, and the two sides of the Taiwan Strait subsequently blamed each other for injecting politics into the event.[68] Calendar[edit]

All times are in China
China
Standard Time (UTC+8)

In the following calendar for the 2008 Olympic Games, each blue box represents an event competition, such as a qualification round, on that day. The yellow boxes represent days during which medal-awarding finals for a sport were held. Each bullet in these boxes is an event final, the number of bullets per box representing the number of finals that were contested on that day. On the left the calendar lists each sport with events held during the Games, and at the right how many gold medals were won in that sport. There is a key at the top of the calendar to aid the reader.[69]

 OC  Opening ceremony  ●   Event competitions  1  Event finals  EG   Exhibition gala  CC  Closing ceremony

August 6th Wed 7th Thu 8th Fri 9th Sat 10th Sun 11th Mon 12th Tue 13th Wed 14th Thu 15th Fri 16th Sat 17th Sun 18th Mon 19th Tue 20th Wed 21st Thu 22nd Fri 23rd Sat 24th Sun Events

Ceremonies

OC

CC N/A

Archery

● 1 1 ● ● 1 1

4

Athletics

2 4 6 6 5 3 6 7 7 1 47

Badminton

● ● ● ● ● ● 1 2 2

5

Baseball

● ● ● ●

● ● ●

● 1

1

Basketball

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 1 1 2

Boxing

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● 4 6 11

Canoeing

● 2 ● ● 2

● ● ● ● 6 6

16

Cycling

1 1

2

1 3 1 2 3 ●

2 2

18

Diving

1 1 1 1

● ● 1 ● 1 ● 1 ● 1

8

Equestrian

● ● ● 2 ● 1 ● ● ● 1 1

1

6

Fencing

1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1

10

Field hockey

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 1 1

2

Football ● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

● ●

1 ● 1

2

Gymnastics

● ●

1 1 1 1 ● 4 4 4 EG ● ● 1 1 18

Handball

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 1 1 2

Judo

2 2 2 2 2 2 2

14

Modern pentathlon

1 1

2

Rowing

● ● ● ● ●

● 7 7

14

Sailing

● ● ● ● ●

● ● 3 2 2 2 2

11

Shooting

2 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1

15

Softball

● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● 1

1

Swimming

● 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

1 1

34

Synchronized swimming

● ● 1

● 1

2

Table tennis

● ● ● ● 1 1 ● ● ● 1 1

4

Taekwondo

2 2 2 2

8

Tennis

● ● ● ● ● ● 1 3

4

Triathlon

1 1

2

Volleyball

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 1 1 1 1 4

Water polo

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 1 ●

1 2

Weightlifting

1 2 2 2 2

2 1 1 1 1

15

Wrestling

2 2 3

2 2

2 2 2

18

Total events

7 14 13 19 17 15 18 27 37 18 20 11 21 21 32 12 302

Cumulative total

7 21 34 53 70 85 103 130 167 185 205 216 237 258 290 302

August 6th Wed 7th Thu 8th Fri 9th Sat 10th Sun 11th Mon 12th Tue 13th Wed 14th Thu 15th Fri 16th Sat 17th Sun 18th Mon 19th Tue 20th Wed 21st Thu 22nd Fri 23rd Sat 24th Sun

Olympic and world records[edit] Main article: World and Olympic records set at the 2008 Summer Olympics 125 Olympic records including 37 world records were set in various events at the Games. In swimming, sixty-five Olympic swimming records including 25 world records were broken due to the use of the LZR Racer, a specialized swimming suit developed by NASA
NASA
and the Australian Institute of Sport.[70] Only two swimming Olympic records remained intact after the Games. Games[edit] Further information: Chronological summary of the 2008 Summer Olympics and List of 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
medal winners Opening ceremony[edit] Main article: 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
opening ceremony

Opening Ceremony.

The opening ceremony officially began at 8:00 pm China
China
Standard Time (UTC+8) on 8 August 2008 in the Beijing
Beijing
National Stadium.[71] The number 8 is associated with prosperity and confidence in Chinese culture, and here it was a triple eight for the date and one extra for time (close to 08:08:08 pm).[72] The ceremony was co-directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou
Zhang Yimou
and Chinese choreographer Zhang Jigang[73] and featured a cast of over 15,000 performers.[74] The ceremony lasted over four hours and was reported to have cost over US$100 million to produce.[75] A rich assembly of ancient Chinese art and culture dominated the ceremony. It opened with the beating of Fou drums for the countdown. Subsequently, a giant scroll was unveiled and became the show's centerpiece. The official song of the 2008 Olympics, titled "You and Me", was performed by Britain's Sarah Brightman
Sarah Brightman
and China's Liu Huan, on a large spinning rendition of the globe.[76] The last recipient in the Olympic Torch
Olympic Torch
relay, former Chinese gymnast Li Ning
Li Ning
ignited the cauldron, after being suspended into the air by wires and completing a lap of the National Stadium at roof height.[77] The opening ceremony was lauded by spectators and various international presses as "spectacular" and "spellbinding".[78] Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the XXIX Olympiad, called the ceremony "a grand, unprecedented success."[79] Sports[edit] The program for the Beijing
Beijing
Games was quite similar to that of the 2004 Summer Olympics
2004 Summer Olympics
held in Athens. There were 28 sports and 302 events at the 2008 Games. Nine new events were held, including two from the new cycling discipline of BMX. Women competed in the 3000 metre steeplechase for the first time. Open water swimming events for men and women, over the distance of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi), were added to the swimming discipline. Team events (men and women) in table tennis replaced the doubles events.[80] In fencing, women's team foil and women's team sabre replaced men's team foil and women's team épée.[d] Two sports were open only to men, baseball and boxing, while one sport and one discipline were open only to women, softball and synchronized swimming. Equestrian and mixed badminton are the only sports in which men and women compete together, although three events in the Sailing allowed the opportunity for both males and female participants. However, only male participants took part in all three events.[81][82] The following were the 302 events in 28 sports that were contested at the Games. The number of events contested in each sport is indicated in parentheses (in sports with more than one discipline, as identified by the IOC,[83] these are also specified).

Aquatics

Diving (8) Swimming (34) Synchronized swimming (2) Water polo (2)

Archery (4) Athletics (47) Badminton (5) Baseball (1) Basketball (2) Boxing (11) Canoeing

Slalom (4) Sprint (12)

Cycling

BMX
BMX
(2) Road (4) Track (10) Mountain bike (2)

Equestrian

Dressage (2) Eventing (2) Jumping (2)

Fencing
Fencing
(10) Field hockey (2) Football (2) Gymnastics

Artistic (14) Rhythmic (2) Trampoline (2)

Handball (2) Judo (14) Modern pentathlon (2) Rowing (14) Sailing (11) Shooting (15) Softball (1) Table tennis (4) Taekwondo (8) Tennis (4) Triathlon (2) Volleyball

Beach volleyball (2) Volleyball (2)

Weightlifting (15) Wrestling

Freestyle (11) Greco-Roman (7)

In addition to the official Olympic sports, the Beijing
Beijing
Organising Committee was given special dispensation by the IOC to run a wushu competition in parallel to the Games. The Wushu Tournament Beijing 2008 saw 128 athletes from 43 countries participate, with medals awarded in 15 separate events; however, these were not to be added to the official medal tally since Wushu was not on the programme of the 2008 Olympic Games.[84] Closing ceremony[edit] Main article: 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
closing ceremony The 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
Closing Ceremony concluded the Beijing
Beijing
Games on 24 August 2008. It began at 8:00 pm China
China
Standard Time (UTC+8), and took place at the Beijing
Beijing
National Stadium. The Ceremony included handover of the Games from Beijing
Beijing
to London. Guo Jinlong, the Mayor of Beijing
Beijing
handed over the Olympic flag
Olympic flag
to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, followed by a performance organized by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). This presentation included performances by guitarist Jimmy Page, and recording artist Leona Lewis. Footballer David Beckham was also featured during London's presentation.[85] Medal table[edit] Main article: 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
medal table

The reverse side of the medals of the 2008 Summer Olympics: silver (left), gold (center), bronze (right). Each medal has a ring of jade.

Eighty-seven nations earned medals, 54 of which won gold medals, both setting new records for Olympic Games.[86][87] 118 participating countries did not win a medal. Athletes from China
China
won 48 gold medals, the most of any nation at these Olympics, becoming the first nation other than the United States and Russia (Soviet Union, Unified Team) to lead in medals since Germany at the 1936 Summer Olympics.[86] The United States team won the most medals overall, with 111.[87] Afghanistan,[88] Mauritius,[89] Sudan,[90] Tajikistan[91] and Togo[92] won their first Olympic medals. Athletes from Mongolia (which previously held the record for most medals without a gold)[93] and Panama[94] won their nation's first gold medals. An athlete from Serbia
Serbia
won its first medal under that name, having previously won medals as part of Yugoslavia and Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro.[95] American swimmer Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps
received a total of eight gold medals, more than any other Olympian in a single Olympic games, setting numerous world and Olympic records in the process.[86] Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt
also set records in multiple events, completing the 100 m final with a time of 9.69 seconds, surpassing his own previous world record.[96] Russian-born American gymnast Nastia Liukin won the all-around gold medal in artistic gymnastics, becoming the third American woman to do so, following Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton
in 1984 and Carly Patterson
Carly Patterson
in 2004.[97] These are the top ten nations that won medals in the 2008 Games.[87]      Host nation

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total

1  China 48 22 30 100

2  United States 36 39 37 112

3  Russia 24 13 23 60

4  Great Britain 19 13 17 49

5  Germany 16 10 15 41

6  Australia 14 15 17 46

7  South Korea 13 10 8 31

8  Japan 9 6 10 25

9  Italy 8 10 10 28

10  France 7 16 20 43

Participating National Olympic Committees[edit]

Participating nations Blue = Participating for the first time. Green = Have previously participated. Yellow square is host city (Beijing)

Team sizes

All but one of the 205 recognized National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that existed as of 2008[update] participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the exception being Brunei.[98] Three countries participated in the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
for their first time: the Marshall Islands, Montenegro
Montenegro
and Tuvalu.[99] While not a full member recognized by the IOC and thus not allowed to compete formally in the Olympics, the Macau Sports and Olympic Committee sent a delegation to participate in the Wushu Tournament Beijing
Beijing
2008, being the only unrecognized National Olympic Committee to have taken part in the 2008 Summer Olympics. It also coordinated efforts with the Chinese Olympic Committee
Chinese Olympic Committee
to organize the torch relay through Macau. The Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
and Tuvalu
Tuvalu
gained National Olympic Committee status in 2006 and 2007 respectively, and 2008 was the first games in which they were eligible to participate.[100][101] The states of Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro, which participated at the 2004 Games jointly as Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro, competed separately for the first time. The Montenegrin Olympic Committee was accepted as a new National Olympic Committee in 2007.[101] Neighboring Kosovo, however, did not participate. After the declaration of independence in Kosovo, the IOC specified requirements that Kosovo
Kosovo
needs to meet before being recognized by the IOC; most notably, it has to be recognized as independent by the United Nations.[102] China
China
and the United States had the largest teams, with 639 athletes for China
China
and 596 for the United States.[103][104] More than 100 sovereigns, heads of state and heads of government as well as 170 Ministers of Sport attended the Beijing
Beijing
Olympic Games.[105]

Participating National Olympic Committees

 Afghanistan (4)  Albania (11)  Algeria (62)  American Samoa (4)  Andorra (5)  Angola (32)  Antigua and Barbuda (5)  Argentina (137)  Armenia (25)  Aruba (2)  Australia (433)  Austria (70)  Azerbaijan (44)  Bahamas (25)  Bahrain (15)  Bangladesh (5)  Barbados (6)  Belarus (181)  Belgium (96)  Belize (3)  Benin (5)  Bermuda (6)  Bhutan (2)  Bolivia (7)  Bosnia and Herzegovina (5)  Botswana (12)  Brazil (277)  British Virgin Islands (2)  Bulgaria (72)  Burkina Faso (6)  Burundi (3)  Cambodia (4)  Cameroon (33)  Canada (332)  Cape Verde (2)  Cayman Islands (4)  Central African Republic (3)  Chad (2)  Chile (27)  China (639) (host)  Colombia (64)  Comoros (3)  Congo (5)  Democratic Republic of the Congo (5)  Cook Islands (4)  Costa Rica (8)  Croatia (105)  Cuba (149)  Cyprus (17)  Czech Republic (134)  Denmark (84)  Djibouti (2)  Dominica (2)  Dominican Republic (25)  Ecuador (25)  Egypt (103)  El Salvador (11)  Equatorial Guinea (3)  Eritrea (9)  Estonia (47)  Ethiopia (22)  Fiji (6)  Finland (58)  France (323)  Gabon (4)  The Gambia (3)  Georgia (35)  Germany (463)  Ghana (9)  Great Britain (311)  Greece (156)  Grenada (9)  Guam (5)  Guatemala (12)  Guinea (5)  Guinea-Bissau (3)  Guyana (5)  Haiti (7)  Honduras (25)  Hong Kong (34)  Hungary (171)  Iceland (28)  India (57)  Indonesia (24)  Iran (55)  Iraq (4)  Ireland (54)  Israel (43)  Italy (344)  Ivory Coast (20)  Jamaica (50)  Japan (351)  Jordan (7)  Kazakhstan (132)  Kenya (56)  Kiribati (2)  North Korea (63)  South Korea (267)  Kuwait (6)  Kyrgyzstan (21)  Laos (4)  Latvia (50)  Lebanon (5)  Lesotho (5)  Liberia (3)  Libya (7)  Liechtenstein (2)  Lithuania (71)  Luxembourg (12)  Macedonia (7)  Madagascar (4)  Malawi (4)  Malaysia (33)  Maldives (3)  Mali (17)  Malta (6)  Marshall Islands (5)  Mauritania (2)  Mauritius (12)  Mexico (85)  Federated States of Micronesia (5)  Moldova (31)  Monaco (5)  Mongolia (29)  Montenegro (31)  Morocco (57)  Mozambique (5)  Myanmar (6)  Namibia (9)  Nauru (1)  Nepal (8)  Netherlands (245)  Netherlands Antilles (3)  New Zealand (182)  Nicaragua (6)  Niger (5)  Nigeria (33)  Norway (85)  Oman (5)  Pakistan (21)  Palau (5)  Palestine (4)  Panama (3)  Papua New Guinea (7)  Paraguay (5)  Peru (12)  Philippines (15)  Poland (268)  Portugal (77)  Puerto Rico (22)  Qatar (22)  Romania (102)  Russia (467)  Rwanda (4)  Saint Kitts and Nevis (4)  Saint Lucia (6)  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2)  Samoa (6)  San Marino (4)  São Tomé and Príncipe (3)  Saudi Arabia (16)  Senegal (12)  Serbia (92)  Seychelles (8)  Sierra Leone (3)  Singapore (25)  Slovakia (57)  Slovenia (62)  Solomon Islands (3)  Somalia (2)  South Africa (136)  Spain (286)  Sri Lanka (8)  Sudan (9)  Suriname (4)  Swaziland (4)  Sweden (134)  Switzerland (84)  Syria (8)  Chinese Taipei (80)  Tajikistan (13)  Tanzania (10)  Thailand (51)  East Timor (2)  Togo (4)  Tonga (3)  Trinidad and Tobago (30)  Tunisia (32)  Turkey (68)  Turkmenistan (10)  Tuvalu (3)  Uganda (15)  Ukraine (254)  United Arab Emirates (8)  United States (596)  Uruguay (12)  Uzbekistan (58)  Vanuatu (3)  Venezuela (109)  Vietnam (21)  Virgin Islands (5)  Yemen (5)  Zambia (8)  Zimbabwe (13)

National participation changes[edit]

Flag of the Chinese Taipei
Taipei
Olympic Committee.

Athletes from the Republic of China
China
(Taiwan) competed at the 2008 Games as Chinese Taipei
Taipei
(TPE) under the Chinese Taipei
Taipei
Olympic flag and used the National Banner Song
National Banner Song
as their official anthem. The participation of Taiwan was briefly in doubt because of disagreements over the name of their team in the Chinese language
Chinese language
and concerns about Taiwan marching in the Opening Ceremony next to the special administrative region of Hong Kong. A compromise on the naming was reached, and Taiwan was referred to during the games as "Chinese Taipei," rather than "Taipei, China," as the mainland China
China
government had proposed. In addition, the Central African Republic was placed between Chinese Taipei
Taipei
and the Special
Special
Administrative Regions during the march of nations.[106] Starting in 2005, North Korea
North Korea
and South Korea held meetings to discuss the possibility of sending a united team to the 2008 Olympics.[107][108] The proposal failed, because of disagreements about how athletes would be chosen; North Korea
North Korea
was demanding a certain percentage representation for its athletes. A subsequent attempt to broker an agreement for the two nations to walk together during the March of Nations failed as well, despite their having done so during the 2000 and 2004 Games.[109] On 24 July 2008, the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
(IOC) banned Iraq from competing in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games because of "political interference by the government in sports."[110][111] The IOC reversed its decision five days later and allowed the nation to compete after a pledge by Iraq to ensure "the independence of its national Olympics panel" by instituting fair elections before the end of November. In the meantime, Iraq's Olympic Organisation was run by "an interim committee proposed by its national sports federations and approved by the IOC."[112] Brunei
Brunei
Darussalam was due to take part in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. However, they were disqualified on 8 August, having failed to register either of their two athletes.[113] The IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said in a statement that "it is a great shame and very sad for the athletes who lose out because of the decision by their team not to register them. The IOC tried up until the last minute, midday Friday August 8, 2008, the day of the official opening, to have them register, but to no avail."[114] Brunei's Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports issued a press release stating that their decision not to participate was due to an injury to one of their athletes.[115] Georgia announced on 9 August 2008, that it was considering withdrawing from the Beijing
Beijing
Olympic Games
Olympic Games
because of the 2008 South Ossetia war, but it went on to compete while the conflict was still ongoing.[116] Participation of athletes with disabilities[edit] South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, whose left leg was amputated following a motor scooter accident, qualified to compete at the Beijing
Beijing
Olympics. The five time gold medalist at the Athens Paralympics in 2004 made history by becoming the first amputee to qualify for the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
since Olivér Halassy
Olivér Halassy
in 1936. She was able to compete in the Olympics rather than the Paralympics because she does not use a prosthetic leg while swimming.[117] Polish athlete Natalia Partyka, who was born without a right forearm, competed in Table Tennis in both the 2008 Olympic Games
Olympic Games
and 2008 Paralympic Games.[118] Concerns and controversies[edit] Main article: Concerns and controversies over the 2008 Summer Olympics

The banner reads: "Human Rights Abuse Cannot Co-exist with Beijing Olympics", picture taken during the opening of the Human Rights Torch Relay event

A variety of concerns over the Games, or China's hosting of the Games, had been expressed by various entities, including allegations that China
China
violated its pledge to allow open media access,[119] various alleged human rights violations,[120][121] its continuous support of repressive regimes (such as Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Sudan and North Korea), air pollution in both the city of Beijing
Beijing
and in neighbouring areas,[122] proposed boycotts,[123][124] warnings of the possibility that the Beijing
Beijing
Olympics could be targeted by terrorist groups,[125] disruption from pro-Tibetan protesters,[126] and religious persecutions.[127] There were also reports that several members of China's women's gymnastics team, including double gold medal winner He Kexin, were too young to compete under the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique's rules for Olympic eligibility, but all were exonerated after an official IOC investigation.[128][129][130] Collectively, the Beijing
Beijing
Olympics are associated with a variety of problematic topics: the ecological impact, residential displacement due to construction, treatment of migrant workers, the government's political stance on Tibet, etc.[131] In the lead-up to the Olympics, the government allegedly issued guidelines to the local media for their reporting during the Games: most political issues not directly related to the games were to be downplayed; topics such as pro-Tibetan independence and East Turkestan movements were not to be reported on, as were food safety issues such as "cancer-causing mineral water."[132] As the 2008 Chinese milk scandal
2008 Chinese milk scandal
broke in September 2008, there was widespread speculation that China's desire for a perfect Games may have been a factor contributing towards the delayed recall of contaminated infant formula.[133][134] Legacy[edit]

Beijing
Beijing
2008 cauldron in 2013.

The 2008 Olympic Games
Olympic Games
have been generally accepted by the world's media as a logistical success.[135][136] Many of the worst fears about the games failed to materialize: no terrorists struck Beijing; no athlete protested at the podium (though Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian tossed his bronze medal in disgust over judging), and the air quality – due largely to favorable weather patterns – was not as bad as many had feared beforehand despite being the worst in Olympics history.[137][138] Hopes that hosting the Games would lead to improvements in human rights protections and rule of law in China, however, went unfulfilled.[139] Many in China
China
viewed the Olympics as "an affirmation of a single nationalistic dream" and saw protests during the international torch relay as an insult to China.[140] The Games also bolstered domestic support for the Chinese government, and for the policies of the Communist Party, giving rise to concerns that the Olympics would give the state more leverage to suppress political dissent, at least temporarily.[141] Efforts to quell any unrest before and during the Games also contributed to a rapid expansion in the size and political clout of China's internal security forces, and this growth continued through the following years.[142] Reports also indicated that the Olympics boosted the political careers of pro- Beijing
Beijing
politicians in Hong Kong, as many Chinese gold medal winners campaigned on behalf of the pro- Beijing
Beijing
DAB during the 2008 election,[143] although any trend towards greater identification by Hong Kongers with Mainland China appears to have been short-lived.[144] The long-term economic impact of the games on China
China
and Beijing
Beijing
in particular is not yet clear. Some sectors of the economy may have benefited from the influx of tourists, and other sectors such as manufacturing lost revenue because of plant closings related to the government's efforts to improve air quality. Four years after the Games, many of the specially constructed facilities were underused or even deserted.[145] It is generally expected by economists that there will be no lasting effects on Beijing's economy from the games.[146] Seven years after the 2008 Games, Beijing
Beijing
was awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics. It will thus be the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games. See also[edit]

Olympics portal

2008 Summer Paralympics

Summer Olympic Games Olympic Games International Olympic Committee List of IOC country codes Doping the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
— 2008 Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Notes[edit]

a Although the games officially began on 8 August 2008, the first football games were held on 6 August. b The other two instances were the 1956 games, where the equestrian events were hosted in Stockholm, Sweden, because of strict Australian quarantine rules, and the other events were hosted in Melbourne, Australia; and the 1920 games which were hosted in Antwerp, Belgium, but the final two races of the 12 ft (3.7 m) dinghy event in sailing were held in the Netherlands. c The New York Times, for instance, said that "these promises, were contradicted by strict visa rules, lengthy application processes and worries about censorship."[147] d The fencing programme included six individual events and four team events, though the team events were a different set than were held in 2004. The International Fencing
Fencing
Federation's rules call for events not held in the previous Games to receive automatic selection and for at least one team event in each weapon to be held. Voting is conducted to determine the fourth event. In 2004, the three men's team events and the women's épée were held. Thus, in 2008, the women's foil and sabre events and men's épée were automatically selected. Men's sabre was chosen over foil by a 45–20 vote.[148]

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External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Beijing
Beijing
2008.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2008 Summer Olympics.

" Beijing
Beijing
2008". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee.  "Results and Medalists". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee.  " 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
Official Site". Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-20. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Beijing
Beijing
Olympic Sites Four Years Later – What Remains at Modern Day Ruins

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Archery Athletics Badminton Baseball Basketball Boxing Canoeing Cycling Diving Equestrian Fencing Field hockey Football Gymnastics Handball Judo Modern pentathlon Rowing Sailing Shooting Softball Swimming Synchronized swimming Table tennis Taekwondo Tennis Triathlon Volleyball Water polo Weightlifting Wrestling

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Olympic Sports Centre Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium Workers' Stadium Workers Indoor Arena Capital Indoor Stadium Fengtai Softball Field Ying Tung Natatorium Laoshan Mountain Bike Course Beijing
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Institute of Technology Gymnasium Beihang University Gymnasium

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Olympic Green
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Archery Field Wukesong Baseball Field Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground BMX
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Field Triathlon Venue Urban Road Cycling Course

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Qingdao
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International Sailing Centre Shanghai Stadium Qinhuangdao
Qinhuangdao
Olympic Sports Center Stadium Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Equestrian Venues Tianjin
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Olympic Center Stadium Shenyang
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Olympic Sports Center Stadium

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