26 December 2013

Beijing Olympics 2008

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Game of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from Aug 8 (except football, which started on Aug 6) to Aug 24, 2008. 10,500 athletes competed in 302 events in 28 sports; one event more than was on the schedule of the 2004 Games.

2008 Olympic Torch
The design of the Olympic Torch is based on traditional scrolls and uses a traditional Chinese design known as the "Propitious Clouds". The torch is
designed to remain lit in 65 km/h (40 mph) winds, temperatures as low as -40C 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 137,000 km (85,000 mi) -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 The Times, with protests of China's human rights record, particularly about Tibet.
The Beijing Olympic Village opened on July 16, 2008 and to the public on July 26, 2008. The mascot of Beijing 2008 was the five Fuwa, each representing both a color of the Olympic rings and a symbol of Chinese culture. 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.

The program for the Beijing 2008 Games was quite similar to that of the 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens. The 2008 Olympics saw the return of 28 sports (some of which, such as aquatics, gymnastics and cycling, were divided into multiple disciplines) and held 302 events (165 men’s events, 127 women’s events, and 10 mixed events), one event more in total than in Athens.
Overall, nine new events were held, which included two from the new cycling discipline of BMX. Women competed in the 3000m steeplechase for the first time. In addition, marathon open water swimming events for men and women, over the distance of 10 kilometers, were added to the swimming discipline. Team event (men and women) in table tennis replaced the doubles events. In fencing, women’s team foil and women’s stream sabre replaced men’s team foil and women’s team epee.
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.
In addition to the official Olympic sports, the IOC to run a wushu competition in parallel to the Games gave the Beijing Organizing Committee. 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 program of the 2008 Olympic Games.

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