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The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, were a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competed in 302 events in 28 sports, one event more than was on the schedule of the 2004 Games. Three nations participated in the Olympics for the first time. China became the 22nd nation to host the Olympic Games and the 18th to hold a Summer Olympic Games. It was the third time that the Summer Olympic Games were held in Asia, after Tokyo, Japan in 1964 and Seoul, South Korea in 1988. These Games were the third time that Olympic events have been held in the territories of two different NOCs, as the equestrian events were held in Hong Kongmarker.

Beijing was awarded the Games over four competitors on July 13, 2001, having won an absolute majority of votes from members of the International Olympic Committeemarker (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 transportation systems. A total of 37 venues were used to host the events including 12 constructed for use at the Games. The official logo of these Olympic Games, titled "Dancing Beijing", featured a stylised calligraphic character jīng (京, meaning capital), referring to the host city. Media outlets reported unprecedented audience interest in the Games, and these Olympics had the largest television audience in Olympic history.

There were 43 new world records and 132 new Olympic records set. An unprecedented 86 countries won at least one medal during the Games. Chinese athletes won the most gold medals, with 51, and 100 medals altogether. Michael Phelps broke the records for most gold medals in one Olympics and for most career gold medals for an Olympian, and equaled the record for most individual golds at a single Games. Usain Bolt secured the traditional title of "World's Fastest Man" by setting new world records in the and sprints.

The choice of China as a host country was a subject of criticism by some politicians and non-governmental organizations concerned about China's human rights record. China and others, meanwhile, warned against politicizing the Olympics. At the closing ceremony IOC president Jacques Rogge declared the event a "truly exceptional Games" after earlier asserting that the IOC had "absolutely no regrets" in choosing Beijing to host the 2008 Games. The Games were a source of national pride for China and in the short term may have strengthened public support for the Chinese government. They may have also led to some long-term reforms in environmental policy, a result of efforts to reduce air pollution in the Beijing region. However, the long term economic impact of the Games on Beijing and China as a whole is still unclear.



2008 Summer Olympics bidding results
City NOC Round 1 Round 2
Beijing Chinamarker 44 56
Torontomarker Canadamarker 20 22
Parismarker Francemarker 15 18
Istanbulmarker Turkeymarker 17 9
Osaka Japanmarker 6

Beijing was elected as the host city on July 13, 2001, during the 112th IOCmarker Session in Moscowmarker, defeating Torontomarker, Parismarker, Istanbulmarker, and Osaka. Prior to the session, five other cities (Bangkokmarker, Cairomarker, Havanamarker, Kuala Lumpurmarker, and Sevillemarker) 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 held a significant lead over the other four candidates. Osaka received only six votes and was eliminated. In the second round, Beijing was supported by an absolute majority of voters, eliminating the need for subsequent rounds.

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 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 to Sydney were all factors in the decision. Eight years earlier, Beijing led every round of voting for the 2000 Summer Olympics, but lost in the final round to Sydneymarker by two votes.

Human rights concerns expressed by 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. China outlined plans to address these environmental concerns in its bid application.


On March 6, 2009 the 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 about $15 billion, and that surplus revenues from the Olympic Games would exceed the original target of $16 million. Other sources, however, estimated that approximately $40 billion had been spent on the Games, which would make it the most expensive Olympic Games by a wide margin.


By May 2007, construction of all 31 Beijing-based Olympic Games venues had begun. The Chinese government also invested in the renovation and construction of six venues outside Beijing as well as 59 training centres. The largest architectural pieces to be built for the games were the Beijing National Stadiummarker, Beijing National Indoor Stadiummarker, Beijing National Aquatics Centermarker, Olympic Green Convention Centermarker, Olympic Greenmarker, and Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Centermarker. 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 2008 Summer Olympics. Some events were held outside Beijing, namely football in Qinhuangdaomarker, Shanghai, Shenyangmarker, and Tianjinmarker; sailing in Qingdaomarker; and, because of the "uncertainties of equine diseases and major difficulties in establishing a disease-free zone", the equestrian events were held in Hong Kongmarker.

The centrepiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics was the 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. Construction of the venue began on December 24, 2003. The Guangdong Olympic Stadiummarker was originally planned, constructed, and completed in 2001 to help host the Games, but a decision was then made to construct a new stadium in Beijing. In 2001, the city held a bidding process to select the best arena design. Several criteria were required of each design, including the ability for post-Olympics use, a retractable roof, and low maintenance costs. The entry list was narrowed to thirteen final designs. The bird's nest model submitted by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in collaboration with Li Xinggang of 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. 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 State-Owned Assets Management Company.


To prepare for Olympic visitors, Beijing's transportation infrastructure was expanded significantly. Beijing's airportmarker underwent a major renovation with the addition of the new Terminal 3, the world's largest airport terminal, designed by renowned architect Norman Foster.

Within the city itself, Beijing's subway doubled its capacity and overall size, adding an additional 7 lines and 80 stations to the previously existing 4 lines and 64 stations. Included in this expansion was a new link connecting directly to the city's airport. Also, a fleet of thousands of buses, minibuses and official cars transported spectators, athletes and officials between venues.

In an effort to improve air quality, the city placed restrictions on construction sites, gas stations, and on the use of commercial and passenger vehicles in Beijing. From June 20 through September 20, 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 extra passengers per day.


The 2008 Summer Olympics emblem is known as Dancing Beijing ( ). The emblem combines a traditional Chinese red seal and a representation of the calligraphic character jīng (, "national capital", also the second character of Beijing's Chinese name) with athletic features. The open arms of the calligraphic word symbolises the invitation from China to the world to share in its culture. IOC president Jacques Rogge was very happy with the emblem, saying, "Your new emblem immediately conveys the awesome beauty and power of China which are embodied in your heritage and your people."

The slogan for the 2008 Olympics is "One World, One Dream" ( .) The slogan calls upon the whole world to join in the Olympic spirit and build a better future for humanity. It was chosen from over 210,000 entries submitted from around the world. The mascots of Beijing 2008 were the five Fuwa, each representing both a colour of the Olympic rings and a symbol of Chinese culture.

Media coverage

The 2008 Games were the first to be produced and broadcast entirely in high definition by the host broadcaster. In comparison, American broadcaster NBC broadcasted only half of the Turin Winter Games in HD. In their bid for the Olympic Games in 2001, Beijing stated to the Olympic Evaluation Commission "that there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games", although some media outlets claimed that organizers ultimately failed to live up to this commitment.

According to Nielsen Media Research, 4.7 billion viewers worldwide tuned in to some of the television coverage, one-fifth larger than the 3.9 billion who watched the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. American broadcaster 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. 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,'"; this new media of the digital economy was growing "nine times faster than the rest of the advertising market".

Globally, the 2008 Olympics was subject to extensive copyright restriction, which amounted to territorial restrictions whilst still being covered extensively online within various exclusive copyright autarkies. Thus despite the international nature of the event and the global reach of the internet, the coverage world wide of assorted nation-states and television networks was not readily accessible. There was no global or supranational media coverage. The international European Broadcasting Unionmarker (EBU), for example, provided live coverage and highlights of all arenas only for certain territories on their website, Many national broadcasters likewise restrict online events to their domestic audiences. 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 video to the internet," part of an extensive campaign to protect the pertinent intellectual property rights.

Torch relay

2008 Olympic Torch

The design of the 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, temperatures as low as -40°C and in rain of up to 50 mm (2 in) per hour.

The relay, with the theme "Journey of Harmony", lasted 130 days and carried the torch —the longest distance of any Olympic torch relay since the tradition began at the 1936 Berlin Games. The torch relay was called a "public relations disaster" for China by USA Today, with protests of China's human rights record, particularly focused on Tibet. The IOC subsequently barred future Olympics organizers from staging international torch relays.

Route of the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay

The relay began March 24, 2008, in Olympia, Greecemarker. From there, it traveled across Greece to Panathinaiko Stadiummarker in Athensmarker, and then to Beijing, arriving on March 31. 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 and the rest of the world. A total of 21,880 torchbearers were selected from around the world by various organizations and entities.

The international portion of the relay was problematic. The month-long world tour encountered wide-scale protests. After trouble in Londonmarker where protesters made several attempts to put out the flame, the torch was extinguished in Parismarker the following day. The American leg in San Franciscomarker on April 9 was altered without prior warning to avoid such scenes, although there were still demonstrations along the original route. The relay was further delayed and simplified after the 2008 Sichuan earthquakemarker hit western China.

The flame was carried to the top of Mount Everest on a 108 km (67 mi) long "highway" scaling the Tibetan side of the mountain especially built for the relay. The $19.7 million blacktop project spanned from Tingri Countymarker of Xigazê Prefecturemarker to the Everest Base Camp. In 2008 March, 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. It also reflected concerns by the Chinese government that Tibet activists may try to disrupt its plans to carry the Olympic torch up the world's tallest peak.

The originally proposed route would have taken the torch through Taipeimarker after leaving Vietnam and before heading for Hong Kong. Taiwan authorities (then led by the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party), however, 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. This dispute as well as demands that the flag of the Republic of China and the National Anthem of the Republic of China be banned along the route led the Taiwan authorities 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.


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.


Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony officially began at 8:00 pm China Standard Time (UTC+8) on August 8, 2008 in the Beijing National Stadiummarker. 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). The ceremony was co-directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and Chinese choreographer Zhang Jigang and featured a cast of over 15,000 performers. The ceremony lasted over four hours and was reported to have cost over US$100 million to produce.

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 and China's Liu Huan, on a large spinning rendition of the globe. The last recipient in the Olympic Torch relay, former Chinese gymnast Li Ning ignited the cauldron, after being suspended into the air by wires and completing a lap of the National Stadium at Stadium roof height in the air.

It was deemed that the real fireworks for the "footprint" sequence were too dangerous to film from a helicopter; as such, some footage were generated to provide simulated aerial shots of the scene. Another cosmetic enhancement in China's quest for a "perfect" Summer Games was using 9-year-old Lin Miaoke to lip-sync over the singing of Yang Peiyi, who had won the competition to sing the opening ceremony song Ode to the Motherland, because Yang was not considered sufficiently photogenic. Another portion of the ceremony featured 56 children carrying a large Chinese flag, with 55 of them dressed in traditional costumes of the officially recognized ethnic minorities of China. These children were described in the official program as members of these minorities, but it was later revealed that they were actually Han Chinese.

The opening ceremony was lauded by spectators and various international presses as spectacular and spellbinding. Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the XXIX Olympiad, called the ceremony "a grand, unprecedented success."


The program for the Beijing Games was quite similar to that of the 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athensmarker. 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 miles), were added to the swimming discipline. Team events (men and women) in table tennis replaced the doubles events. In fencing, women's team foil and women's team sabre replaced men's team foil and women's team épée. 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 is the only sport in which men and women compete together in the same events.

In 2006, the Beijing Organizing Committee released pictograms of 35 Olympic disciplines (for some multi-discipline sports, such as cycling, a single pictogram was released).This set of sport icons is named the beauty of seal characters, due to each pictogram's likeness to Chinese seal script.

The following were the 28 sports to be contested at these 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, these are also specified).

  • Aquatics (46)

    • Slalom (4)
    • Flatwater (12)
    • BMX (2)
    • Road (4)
    • Track (10)
    • Mountain Bike (2)
    • Dressage (2)
    • Eventing (2)
    • Jumping (2)

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

    • Beach Volleyball (2)
    • Volleyball (2)
    • Freestyle (11)
    • Greco-Roman (7)

In addition to the official Olympic sports, the 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.

Closing ceremony

The 2008 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony concluded the Beijing Games on August 24, 2008. It began at 8:00pm China Standard Time (UTC+8), and took place at the Beijing National Stadiummarker.

The Ceremony included the handover of the Games from Beijing to London. Guo Jinlong, the Mayor of Beijing handed over the Olympic flag to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, followed by a performance organized by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic 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.

Medal table

Athletes from 86 countries won medals, 54 of which won gold medals, both setting new records for Olympic Games. 118 participating countries did not win a medal. Athletes from China won 51 gold medals, the most of any nation at these Olympics, becoming the first nation other than the United States and Russia to do so since Germany in 1936. Athletes from the United States won the most total medals, with 110. Afghanistan, Mauritius, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Togo won their first Olympic medals. Athletes from Mongolia (which previously held the record for most medals without a gold), and Panama won their nation's first gold medals. An athlete from Serbia won its first medal under that name, having previously won medals as part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro.

The top ten ranked NOCs at these Games are listed below. The host nation, China, is highlighted.

1 51 21 28 100
2 36 38 36 110
3 23 21 29 73
4 19 13 15 47
5 16 10 15 41
6 14 15 17 46
7 13 10 8 31
8 9 6 10 25
9 8 9 10 27
10 7 16 18 41

Medal winners

Athletes that won at least three gold medals or at least four total medals are listed below.

Athlete Nation Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Swimming 8 0 0 8
Swimming 1 2 3 6
Gymnastics 1 3 1 5
Swimming 2 1 1 4
Swimming 2 0 2 4
Swimming 1 3 0 4
Gymnastics 1 3 0 4
Cycling 3 0 0 3
Athletics 3 0 0 3
Zou Kai Gymnastics 3 0 0 3
Swimming 3 0 0 3


Participating nations
Team sizes

All but one of the 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that existed as of 2008 participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the exception being Brunei. Three countries participated in the Olympic Games for their first time: the Marshall Islandsmarker, Montenegromarker and Tuvalumarker.The Marshall Islandsmarker and Tuvalumarker gained National Olympic Committee status in 2006 and 2007 respectively, and 2008 was the first games they were eligible to participate in. The states of Serbiamarker and Montenegromarker, which participated at the 2004 Games jointly as Serbia and Montenegro, competed separately for the first time. The Montenegrin Olympic Committee was accepted as a new National Olympic Committee in 2007. Neighboring Kosovomarker, however, did not participate. After the declaration of independence in Kosovo, the IOC specified requirements that Kosovo needs to meet before being recognised by the IOC; most notably, it has to be recognised as independent by the United Nations. China and the United States had the largest teams, with 639 for China and 596 for the United States.

More than 100 sovereigns, heads of state and heads of government as well as 170 Ministers of Sport attended the Beijing Olympic Games.

List of Participating NOCs
Below is a list of all the participating NOCs (the number of competitors per delegation is indicated in brackets)

National participation changes

TPE's flag.
As in Olympics Games since 1984, athletes from the Republic of Chinamarker (Taiwan) competed at the 2008 Games as Chinese Taipei (TPE) under the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag and using the National Banner Song as their official anthem. The participation of Taiwanmarker was briefly in doubt due to disagreements over the name of their team in the Chinese language and concerns about Taiwan marching in the Opening Ceremony next to the special administrative region of Hong Kongmarker. A compromise on the naming was reached, and Taiwan was referred to during the games as Chinese Taipei rather than China Taipei. In addition, the Central African Republic was placed between Chinese Taipei and the Special Administrative Regions during the march of nations.

Starting in 2005, North Koreamarker and South Koreamarker held meetings to discuss the possibility of sending a united team to the 2008 Olympics. The proposal failed, due to disagreements about how athletes would be chosen; 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.

On July 24, 2008, the International Olympic Committeemarker (IOC) banned Iraq from competing in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games due to "political interference by the government in sports." On July 29, the IOC reversed its decision 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."

Brunei Darussalammarker was due to take part in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. However, they were disqualified on August 8, having failed to register either of their two athletes. The IOCmarker 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." 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.

Georgiamarker announced on August 9, 2008 that it was considering withdrawing from the Beijing Olympic Games due to the military conflict in South Ossetia, but it went on to compete while the conflict was still ongoing.

Participation of athletes with disabilities

South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, whose left leg was amputated following a motor scooter accident, qualified to compete at the 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 since 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. Polish athlete Natalia Partyka, who was born without a right forearm, competed in Table Tennis in both the 2008 Olympic Games and 2008 Paralympic Games.

Concerns and controversies

A variety of concerns over the Games, or China's hosting of the Games, had been expressed by various entities; including allegations that China violated its pledge to allow open media access, various alleged human rights violations, its continuous support of repressive regimes (such as Zimbabwemarker, Myanmarmarker, Sudanmarker, and North Koreamarker), air pollution in both the city of Beijing and in neighbouring areas, proposed boycotts, warnings of the possibility that the Beijing Olympics could be targeted by terrorist groups, potentially violent disruption from pro-Tibetan protesters, religious persecutions, the banning of ethnic Tibetans from working in Beijing for the duration of the Games, criticisms of policies mandating the electronic surveillance of internationally owned hotels, manhandling of foreign journalists, dubious protest zones, as well as alleged harassment, house arrests, forced disappearances, imprisonment, and torture of dissidents and protesters.

There were allegations that some members of China's women's gymnastics team were too young to compete under the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique's rules for Olympic eligibility. On August 21, the IOC ordered a probe into the legal ages of double gold medal winning gymnast He Kexin and her teammates. After a five-and-a-half week investigation, the Chinese gymnasts were deemed eligible to compete and the original results were allowed to stand.

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." As the 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.


In the short term, the 2008 Olympic Games have been generally accepted by the world's media as a logistical success. Contrary to fears before the game, no terrorists struck Beijing; no athlete protested at the podium, and largely due to favorable weather conditions the air quality, although the worst in Olympic history, was not as bad as many had feared beforehand.

For the Chinese government, the Olympic events, as well as the medals won by Chinese athletes, were a great source of national pride. The Olympics seem to have also bolstered some domestic support for the Chinese government, and support for the policies of the Communist Party of China, giving rise to concerns that the state will possibly have more leverage to disperse dissent, at least momentarily. It is also believed that the number of gold medals won at the Olympics helped the pro-Beijing party (DAB) win at Hong Kong legislative election, 2008, in which the DAB remained the largest party. In the days before the election, a number of Chinese gold medalists visited Hong Kong to rally support behind the DAB, although some analysts had expected larger gains as a result of this than actually occurred.

The long-term economic impact of the games on China and Beijing in particular is not yet clear. Some sectors of the economy may have benefited due to the influx of tourists, and other sectors such as manufacturing lost revenue due to plant closings related to the government's efforts to improve air quality. It is generally expected by economists that there will be no lasting effects on the city's economy due to the games.

Notes and references


  • Although the games officially began on August 8, 2008, the first football games were held on August 6.

  • The other two instances were the 1956 games, where the equestrian events were hosted in Stockholmmarker, Sweden, due to strict Australian quarantine rules, and the other events were hosted in Melbournemarker, Australia; and the 1920 games which were hosted in Antwerpmarker, Belgium, but the final two races of the 12 ft dinghy event in sailing were held in the Netherlandsmarker.

  • The The New York Times, for instance, said that "these promises, were contradicted by strict visa rules, lengthy application processes and worries about censorship."

  • 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 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.


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