Friday, December 14, 2007

2008 Summer Olympics

2008 Summer Olympics


The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
will be celebrated from August 8, 2008 to August 24, 2008, with the opening
ceremony commencing at 08:08:08 pm at the Beijing National Stadium in Beijing,
People's Republic of China[a]. Some events, including football (soccer),
sailing, and new 10 km marathon swimming events will be held in other cities of
China. With the equestrian events being held in Hong Kong, this marks the second
time the same edition of the Olympic Games has been hosted by two National
Olympic Committees (NOCs).[b]

The Olympic games were awarded to Beijing, People's Republic of China 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 stylized
calligraphic character jīng (京, meaning capital), referencing the host city. The
mascots of Beijing 2008 are the five Fuwa, each representing one color of the
Olympic rings. The Olympic slogan, One World, One Dream, calls upon the world to
unite in the Olympic spirit. Athletes will compete in 302 events in 28 sports,
just one event more than was on the schedule of the Athens games of 2004.
Several new NOCs have also been recognized by the IOC.

The Chinese government sees the games as a chance for China to highlight its
economic rise and emergence as a world power.Despite the efforts of the
Communist Party to tightly manage press coverage of the event, there will likely
be issues over the environment, human rights violations, and Tibetan
independence. This being so, former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch has
still boasted that the Beijing games will be "the best in Olympic history

Host selection process

Beijing was elected the host city on July 13, 2001, during the 112th IOC
Session in Moscow, beating Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. Prior to the
session, five other cities—Bangkok, Cairo, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and
Seville—submitted bids to the IOC but failed to make the shortlist in 2000. The
voting distributions were as follows.

2008 Summer Olympics bidding results

Round 1Round 2


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.

Previously, Beijing had bid to host the 2000 Summer Olympics. It led the voting
over the first three rounds, but ultimately lost to Sydney in the final round in

Beijing National StadiumMain stadium Beijing National Stadium

centerpiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics will be the Beijing National Stadium,
nicknamed the "Bird Nest" because of its nest-like skeletal structure.[8]
Construction of the venue began on December 24, 2003. The Guangdong Olympic
Stadium was originally planned, constructed, and completed in 2001 for the
Games, but a decision was made to construct a new stadium in Beijing. Government
officials engaged architects worldwide in a design competition. A Swiss firm,
Herzog & de Meuron Architekten AG, collaborated with China Architecture Design &
Research Group to win the competition. The National Stadium will feature a
lattice-like concrete skeleton forming the stadium bowl and will have a seating
capacity of 80,000 people. Architects originally described the overall design as
resembling a bird's nest with an immense ocular—an opening with a retractable
roof over the stadium. However, in 2004, the idea of retractable roof was
abandoned for economic and safety reasons. The Beijing National Stadium will be
the site of the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the athletics events
and soccer finals. The stadium's designer Ai Weiwei has since withdrawn his
support for China's Olympic games, saying "he wants nothing to do with them


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