2008 Summer Olympics
May 29, 2022
The 2008 Summer Olympics (Mandarin: 第二十九届夏季奥林匹克运动会; Dì Èrshíjiǔ Jiè Xiàjì Àolínpǐkè Yùndònghuì) officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a multi-sport event held in Beijing, the People's Republic of China except for football, which started on August 6) to August 24, 2008. A total of 10,500 athletes competed in 302 events across 28 sports, totaling one event more than the 2004 Games in Athens. The Beijing Games marked the first occasion that an edition of the Olympic Games, whether summer or winter, was held in China, which was the 22nd nation to host the event. As the equestrian events took place in Hong Kong, this was the third time in history that the Games were hosted by two National Olympic Committees (NOC). In 1956, the equestrian competitions took place in Stockholm, Sweden, while the other events took place in Melbourne, Australia. Previously, at the 1920 Summer Olympics held in Antwerp, the last two 12-foot sailing class regattas were held in the Netherlands. The 2008 Games were consecrated to Beijing by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on July 13, 2001. The official logo of the Games, entitled Dancing Beijing, features a stylized calligraphy of the Chinese character jīng (京, capital), referring to the main city. New National Olympic Committees were recognized by the IOC and made up a record number of participating nations. The Chinese government has spared no effort to try to hold the biggest Olympic Games in history and has invested heavily in the infrastructure surrounding the event, over US$ 42 billion. A total of 37 venues were used to host the competitions, twelve of which were entirely built specifically for the event. During the closing ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge declared that they were "truly exceptional Games", after earlier saying he had "absolutely no regrets" about Beijing's choice to host the Games. The choice of China as the host country generated some protests from politicians and non-governmental organizations over the country's failure to respect human rights. Others, however, warned against politicizing the Games. The Games provided the breaking of 43 world records and 132 Olympic records. A total of 87 nations won medals during the Games. Chinese athletes won 51 gold medals, the second best performance by a delegation in the modern history of the Games, with the exception of editions where boycotts took place. Michael Phelps of the United States broke the record for most gold medals at a single Olympic Games, and most gold medals by an Olympic athlete. Usain Bolt of Jamaica secured the symbolic title of "fastest man in the world" by setting the world record in the 100m and 200m. Soon after the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games were held from 6 to 17 September. China once again hosted an edition of the Olympic Games in 2014, when Nanjing hosted the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games. Beijing will host the Olympic Games again after being elected to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, being the first city to host the two versions of the Games.