2008 Summer Olympics

Games of the XXIX Olympiad, held in Beijing in 2008
Beijing 2008
Games of the XXIX Olympiad
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad
2008 Olympics
The Beijing Olympics
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August 8, 2008
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August 24, 2008
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The 2008 Summer Olympics, 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 2008, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 8 to 24 August 2008 in Beijing, China. 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 Summer Olympics). This was the first time that 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 Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics. These were the second summer Olympic Games staged in a Communist country, after the Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics and the third in a developing country after the Mexico City 1968 Summer Olympics and the 1980 Summer Olympics in the Soviet Union and the first overall Olympics to be hosted by a Communist state since the former Yugoslavia hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. 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. The Government of the People's Republic of China promoted the Games and invested heavily in new facilities and transport systems. A total of 37 venues were used to host the events, including twelve constructed specifically for the 2008 Olympics. 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. The sailing events were contested in Qingdao, while the football events took place across several different cities. The official logo for the 2008 Games, titled "Dancing Beijing", featured a stylised calligraphic character jīng (京, means capital) in reference to the host city. The Beijing Olympics was watched by 3,500,000,000 people worldwide and featured the longest distance for an Olympic Torch relay. The event sets numerous world and Olympics records in the history of sports, and is also the most expensive Summer Olympics of all time and second-most expensive overall, after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The opening ceremony was lauded by spectators and numerous international presses as spectacular and spellbinding, and by many accounts "the greatest ever in the history of Olympics". An unprecedented 87 countries won at least one medal during the Games. China won the most gold medals, with 48, and became only the seventh different team to top an overall Olympic medal tally, winning a total of 100 medals overall. The United States placed second in the gold medal tally but won the highest number of medals overall, with a total of 112. The third place in the gold medal tally was achieved by Russia. Beijing has been selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics; it will become the first city ever to host both a Summer and Winter Games.
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