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2008 Summer Olympics Games
Beijing China 08 08 08
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad is a Summer Olympics event, that will be held in Beijing, Republic of China from August 8 to August 24 and followed by the 2008 Summer Paralympics from September 6 to September 17.
10,500 athletes are expected to compete in 302 events in 28 sports, just one event more than was on the schedule of the 2004 games. The 2008 Beijing Olympics will also mark the third time that Olympic events will have been held in the territories of two different National Olympic Committees (NOC): at the 2008 Olympics, equestrian events will be held in Hong Kong, which competes separately from mainland China.
The Olympic Games were awarded to Beijing after an exhaustive ballot of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on July 13, 2001. The official logo of the games, titled "Dancing Beijing," features a stylised calligraphic character jīng (京, meaning capital), referencing the host city. The mascots of Beijing 2008 are the five Fuwa, each representing both a colour of the Olympics Rings and a symbol of Chinese culture. The Olympic slogan, One World, One Dream, calls upon the world to unite in the Olympic spirit. Several new NOCs have also been recognised by the IOC.
The Chinese Governament has promoted the games to highlight China's emergence on the world stage and has invested heavily in new facilities and transportation systems. A total of 37 venues will be used to host the events including 12 newly constructed venues. Earlier in 2007, former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch had said that he believes that the Beijing games will be "the best in Olympic history."
The opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing will be held in the Beijing National Stadium, and begin at 8:00pm CST (12:00 UTC) on 8 August 2008. It has been announced that Canadian Celine Dion and Taiwanese Jay Chou would perform during the opening ceremony.
On July 21, NBC announced the Opening Ceremony would include performances by a cast of 15,000 and declared it would be the most spectacular Olympics Opening Ceremony ever produced.
These games will be the first to be produced and broadcast entirely in high definition television, and will likely garner upwards of 4 billion viewers.
The design of the Olympic Torch is based on traditional scrolls and uses a traditional Chinese design known as the "Propitious Clouds" (祥云). The torch is designed to remain lit in 65 kilometers per hour winds, and in rain of up to 50 millimeters per hour.
The relay, with the theme Journey of Harmony, is expected to last 130 days and carry 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.
The relay began March 24, 2008 in Olympia, Greece. From there, it traveled across Greece to Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, 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 have been selected from around the world by various organizations and entities.
Enjoy the games.