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2008 Summer Olympics
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This article or section contains information about a future sporting event or team.It is likely to contain information of a speculative nature and the content may change dramatically as the event approaches and more information becomes available.
Games of the XXIX Olympiad
One World, One DreamThe "Dancing Beijing" emblem, depicting a Chineseseal inscribed with the character "Jing" (fromthe name of the host city) in theform of a dancing figure.
302 in 28 sports
Officially opened by
President of China
Beijing National Stadium
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, will be held in Beijing, China from August 8, 2008 through August 24, 2008, with the opening ceremony to take place at 08:08pm and 08 seconds. The number 8 is associated with prosperity in Chinese culture.
Some events, including football (soccer), sailing, and swimming's new marathon 10km events, will be held in other cities of China (see below). With the equestrian events being held in Hong Kong, this marks the second time the same edition of Olympic Games has been hosted by two National Olympic Committees.
The official logo of the games, titled "Dancing Beijing," features a stylized calligraphic character jing, referencing the host city. The mascots of Beijing 2008 are the five Fuwa, each representing one color of the Olympic rings. The motto of the Games is "One World, One Dream."
1 Host selection process
2 Development and preparation
2.1.1 Beijing National Stadium
2.1.2 Guangdong Stadium
2.1.3 List of venues
2.3 Olympic lawmaking
2.4 Public transport
3.2 Torch relay
3.3 Participating NOCs
6.1 Protests and potential boycotts
6.2 Air quality
8 See also
10 External links
 Host selection process
Main article: 2008 Summer Olympic bids
2008 Summer Olympic bids
Overview · Beijing (winner)Toronto · Paris · Istanbul · Osaka
Chinese students celebrated on July 13, 2001 at Millennium Monument upon the announcement that Beijing would host the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Beijing was elected host city on July 13, 2001, during the 112th IOC Session in Moscow, beating out Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. Prior to the session, five other cities submitted bids to the IOC but failed to make the shortlist in 2000: Bangkok, Cairo, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and Seville. Beijing previously bid to host the 2000 Summer Olympics but lost to Sydney in 1993.
Beijing had a significant lead over the other four candidates. After Osaka was eliminated (it had only received six votes), the second round of votes were cast, revealing that Beijing now had the absolute majority of the votes, eliminating the need for subsequent rounds of voting.
 Development and preparation
Main article: 2008 Summer Olympic venues
The Chinese government intends to invest in the renovation and construction of thirty-six gymnasiums and stadiums as well as fifty-nine training centers. According to the UK's Times Online, over 300,000 houses have been demolished and residents relocated thus far in Beijing due to construction in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. Police in Beijing placed many people under arrest for protesting the evictions.
Its largest architectural pieces will be the Beijing National Stadium, Beijing National Indoor Stadium, Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Olympic Green Convention Centre, Olympic Green, and Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center. US $2.1 billion (RMB¥17.4 billion) in corporate bids and tenders are expected to fund almost 85 percent of the construction budget for the six main venues. Investments are expected from corporations seeking ownership rights after the 2008 Summer Olympics. Some venues will be owned and governed by the State General Administration of Sports, which will use them after the Olympics as facilities for all future national sports teams and events.
It was announced on July 8, 2005, that the equestrian events are to be held in Hong Kong because of "uncertainties of equine diseases and major difficulties in establishing a disease-free zone." The five other venues outside of Beijing will be located in Qingdao, Hong Kong, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Qinhuangdao.
 Beijing National Stadium
The winning design was chosen from many others
The centerpiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics is the Beijing National Stadium, construction of which began on December 24, 2003. 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 lattice-like concrete skeleton forming the stadium bowl and will seat 80,000 people. Architects originally described the overall design as resembling a bird's nest with an immense ocular—an opening with retractable roof over the stadium. However, in 2004 the roof part of the design was abandoned for cost and safety reasons. The Beijing National Stadium will be the site of the Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony as well as athletics events and soccer finals.
 Guangdong Stadium
Built 100 miles north of Hong Kong in the city of Guangzhou, the Guangdong Stadium was opened to the public for the ninth National Games of the People's Republic of China in 2001. It was originally planned to be the centerpiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics until a decision was made to construct the National Stadium in Beijing. The original design for the Guangdong Stadium was announced in 1999. The stadium seats 80,000 people. Taking from Guangzhou's nickname as the Flower City, the American architectural firm of Ellerbe Becket designed Guangdong Stadium to resemble a flower. The design firm stated in its press release, "The stadium bowl grows out of the ground to a sculpted upper edge, like the petals of a flower. Floating above the bowl is a shimmering ribbon of roof flowing like a wave over the seats. It parts at the ends and holds the Olympic flame, suspended between the two ribbons. A hotel surrounds a circular opening in the roof that forms a vertical tower of light, which at night is visible for a great distance. The roof form undulates, making it different from any other stadium in China or the world."
 List of venues
Olympic venues in Beijing
Olympic venues satellite map in Beijing 
Construction has begun for one of Beijing's many new stadiums for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Beijing National Stadium - Athletics, Football
Beijing National Aquatics Center - Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, and Synchronized Swimming
National Indoor Stadium - Artistic Gymnastics, Trampolines, Handball
Beijing Shooting Range Hall - Qualifications and finals 10-, 25-, and 50-meter range shooting events
Wukesong Indoor Stadium - Basketball
Laoshan Velodrome - Cycling (track)
Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park - Rowing, Canoe/Kayak (flat-water racing and Slalom Racing)
China Agricultural University Gymnasium - Wrestling
Peking University Gymnasium - Table tennis
Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium - Judo and Taekwondo
Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium - Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics
Olympic Sports Center Stadium - Football, Modern Pentathlon (running and equestrian)
Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium - Handball
Workers' Stadium - Football
Workers' Indoor Arena - Boxing
Capital Indoor Stadium - Volleyball
Fengtai Softball Field - Softball
Ying Tung Natatorium - Water Polo, Modern Pentathlon (swimming)
Laoshan Mountain Bike Course - Cycling (Mountain Bike)
Beijing Shooting Range Clay Target Field - Shooting
Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium - Volleyball
Beihang University Gymnasium - Weightlifting
Olympic Green Convention Centre - Fencing preliminaries and finals, and Modern Pentathlon (fencing and shooting)
Olympic Green Hockey Field - Hockey
Olympic Green Archery Field - Archery
Olympic Green Tennis Centre - Tennis
Wukesong Baseball Field - Baseball
BMX Field - Cycling (BMX)
Triathlon Venue - Triathlon
Urban Road Cycling Course - Cycling (road race)
Qingdao International Sailing Centre - Sailing
Shanghai Stadium - Football Preliminary
Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre Stadium - Football Preliminary
Hong Kong Sports Institute - Equestrian
Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium - Football Preliminary
Wulihe Stadium, Shenyang - Football Preliminary
Main article: Dancing Beijing
Dancing Beijing emblem depicted in a flower garden.
The 2008 Summer Olympics emblem entitled "Dancing Beijing" was unveiled in August 2003 in a ceremony attended by 2,008 people at Qin Nian Dian (祈年殿)—the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests in Beijing's Temple of Heaven (天壇 or 天坛). The emblem combines elements of traditional Chinese society—a red seal and a calligraphic word for jing (京) ("national capital") with athletic features. The open arms of the calligraphic word symbolizes the invitation of 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."
Main article: Fuwa
The Fuwa (Chinese: 福娃; pinyin: Fúwá) were unveiled as the mascots of the games by the National Society of Chinese Classic Literature Studies on November 11, 2005, at an event marking the 1000th day before the opening of the games.
Fuwa consists of five members: Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini. The five mascots incorporate fish, giant panda, fire, Tibetan antelope, and swallow designs respectively, and each also represents one of the five Olympic Rings. When the first syllable of each of the five names are said together, the result sounds like the phrase 北京欢迎你 (Běijīng huānyíng nǐ) which means "Beijing welcomes you".
The Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee publicized in early August 2006 that it will sell over 7 million tickets for various sporting events and ceremonies to the general public. The chief of the committee said that she hopes that all the Chinese have a chance to come to the games. The committee has, therefore, set the admission prices for events "very, very cheap" to encourage the Chinese to become involved in the Olympics.
In addition to the public, other tickets are set aside for sponsors, officials, and members of the IOC. Tickets to contracted corporate clients will be sold in September 2006, while tickets for the general public will not go on sale until early 2007.
Both the 2008 Olympic emblem and slogan appear side by side in this image.
On June 26, 2005, The Beijing Olympic Committee announced that the slogan for the 2008 Olympics will be "One World, One Dream." (Simplified Chinese: 同一个世界 同一个梦想; Traditional Chinese: 同一個世界 同一個夢想; pinyin: Tóng Yíge Shìjiè Tóng Yíge Mèngxiǎng)
 Olympic lawmaking
The Beijing municipal authority declared on April 10, 2006, that more than 70 local laws and decrees would be made before the 2008 summer Olympics. These laws and decrees include banishing local people who don't have Hukou of Beijing; banishing vagrants, beggars, and people with mental illness from the city; strengthening border control; forcible "special holiday", or forcible shutout, to make Beijing citizens stay at home during the Olympics; strengthening controls over Chinese and foreign NGOs; and forbidding any protests. The government has also strengthened laws relating to prosecution of those deemed to be disseminating material not beneficial to the state.
 Public transport
In preparation for the games, Beijing's subway system is currently undergoing a major expansion that will more than double its existing size. The system currently is composed of four lines and 64 stations. An additional seven lines and more than eighty new stations are being constructed, including a direct link to Beijing Capital International Airport. Most are set to open on July 30, 2008, just over one week prior to the beginning of the games.
On the ground, Beijing is set to designate thirty-eight official public transit routes that will link the Olympic venues. During the games, 2,500 large-size buses and 4,500 minibuses will be operated by a total of 8,000 drivers to transport people to and from various venues. Prior to the games, public transport will be optimized in order to reduce the existing 110 overlapped routes.
In January 2007, the BOCOG announced that metro cars will be fitted with video screens showing the latest news and event during the games. In addition, handset signals will be available so that people can use their communication devices in the metro stations or underground.
Decorative flower garden in Tiananmen Square depicting various Olympic sports.
The events programme for the Beijing 2008 Games is quite similar to that of the Athens Games held in 2004. The 2008 Olympics will see the return of 28 sports, and will hold 302 events (165 men’s events, 127 women’s events, and 10 mixed events), one more than in Athens.
Nine new events will be held, including two from the new cycling discipline of BMX. Women will compete in the 3000m steeplechase for the first time. In addition, marathon swimming events for men and women, over the distance of 10 kilometers, will be added to the swimming discipline. Team events (men and women) in table tennis will replace the doubles events. In fencing, women's team foil and women's team sabre will replace men's team foil and women's team epee.
This pictogram depicts Athletics.
In addition to the recognized Olympic sports, video gamers talked to the Chinese government in hopes of their allowing video games to be a demonstration sport at these games. Demonstration events have not been held at any Olympic Games (Summer or Winter) since 1992.
On August 7, 2006, the day before the 2-year countdown to the Beijing Games, the Beijing Organizing Committee released pictograms of the 35 Olympic disciplines. Each pictogram is designed so that people of nations around the world can recognize the different sports played at the Olympic Games. This set of sport icons is named the beauty of seal characters, so called because of each pictogram's likeness to Chinese seal script.
The following are the sports to be contested at the games. The Olympic sport of aquatics has been split up into its constituent disciplines of diving, swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo. The number of events to be contested in each sport is indicated in parentheses.
Modern pentathlon (2)
Synchronized swimming (2)
Table tennis (4)
Water polo (2)
 Torch relay
Twenty-eight cities around the world will be chosen to receive the global phase—the torch's tour around the globe—of the Olympic Flame's relay. In addition, 78 cities will receive the torch on the domestic phase through China.
Presented to the IOC in Moscow was the plan for a torch relay route that will take the Olympic flame through the sites of the great ancient civilizations—Greece, Italy, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, India and finally, China—although the route through the Middle East may not be guaranteed due to the political climate in the region. The 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay will achieve a world record as eighty specially trained mountaineers carry the Olympic flame to the top of Mount Everest (known to the Tibetans as Chomolangma; Simplified Chinese: 珠穆朗玛峰; Traditional Chinese: 珠穆朗瑪峰), making it the highest altitude achieved in the history of Olympic torch relays.
Liu Qi, president of the 2008 Olympics organizing committee, has also expressed the wish that the torch relay be carried through Taiwan. Although the organizing committee has the relay mostly planned out, the IOC states that the torch relay route will not be decided until early 2007. The overall course of the torch relay, though, should take the Olympic flame from Athens in March 2008 through the Himalayas to Beijing and will be sponsored by soft drink giant, The Coca-Cola Company alongside South Korean electronic giant Samsung.
 Participating NOCs
This map depicts the NOCs that competed at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. A vast majority of these nations are expected to return for the 2008 games.
With the games being well over a year away, certainty cannot be made as to which National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will participate at the 2008 Olympics. While most NOCs participate regularly, various situations could cause a nation to be absent from the games, as was the case for 6 NOCs in the 2006 Winter Olympics. A few new NOCs, including the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu, will have been accepted by the time the 2008 Games start. Others plan to dissolve their political ties, thus creating separate NOCs. North and South Korea, as well, plan to meet to discuss the logistics of creating a unified team.
The Marshall Islands gained NOC status in February of 2006, and should be expected at the Games. The acceptance of Tuvalu is an open possibility provided that the country establishes a National Olympic Committee prior to IOC deadlines. Tuvalu has met with IOC president Jacques Rogge, and he seems happy enough that in 2007 at the IOC meeting, Tuvalu will be voted into becoming a full Olympic member.
The nations of Serbia and Montenegro will compete separately; the citizens of Montenegro voted in a referendum to sever their political union with Serbia in May 2006. As well, in July 2007, the Netherlands Antilles will have been dissolved, giving Curaçao and St. Maarten a Status Aparte, the same political status that Aruba has had since 1986. Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius will have direct relations with the Netherlands as Kingdom Islands.
A South Korean news agency has announced that South Korea and North Korea will discuss sending a united team to the 2008 Olympics. The two NOCs met with IOC president Jacques Rogge on September 5, 2006, to discuss the possibility of doing so. In February 2007, officials from both of the NOCs announced that Korean Olympic Committee President Kim Jung-kil and North Korean Olympic Committee President Mun Jae-duk will meet and further discuss the logistics of sending a unified team. South Korea advocates for selection of athletes based on performance, while North Korea hopes for equal representation of athletes if the two indeed send a joint team. However, both NOCs failed to reach any agreement, and would have further discussion with difference proposals.
The following calendar for the 2008 Olympic Games is the most recent version of the games schedule, last updated 2006-11-09. Each blue box represents an event competition on that day like a qualification round. The yellow boxes represent a medal-awarding final for a sport. The number in each box represents the number of finals that will be contested on that day.
Beijing 2008 will be broadcast worldwide by a number of television broadcasters. Confirmed broadcasters include:
Mainland Chinese state-owned CCTV, predominantly CCTV-5 will have exclusive coverage rights.
China will also be streaming all the events over the internet showcasing the China Next Generation Internet.
Channel Seven in Australia
CBC and Radio-Canada and its properties, along with TSN and RDS, in Canada.
NBC Universal, with NBC and its cable properties, in the United States.
BBC in the United Kingdom.
NOS in the Netherlands
Some athletes, especially swimmers, have voiced dissatisfaction with the IOC's decision to schedule some events to meet the requests of NBC, which paid US $3.5 billion for exclusive United States broadcasting rights to the Summer and Winter Games from 2000 through 2008. NBC requested that popular events, such as swimming, athletics, basketball, and gymnastics, be broadcast live and during television primetime in the U.S. (i.e., 6 to 9 p.m.) for maximum advertising revenue. This would require events to be held in the early morning, Beijing time. The IOC granted the request concerning swimming and gymnastics but denied it for athletics and basketball. The IOC has precedent for its decision: at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, some swimming, gymnastics, and athletics finals were held in the morning.
NBC has announced that it may stream most of the events in these Olympic Games online, possibly for free. The network has yet do plan the logistics of the endeavor. NBC Universal also offered non-stop Olympic coverage during the 2004 Summer Olympics. Between NBC and its cable partners (Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network & Spanish network Telemundo) the Olympic were on TV 24 hours a day during the entire two week period. Whether NBC will offer this again in 2008 is unknown.
 Protests and potential boycotts
Students for a Free Tibet's campaign to protest the 2008 Summer Olympics.
After Berlin (1936) Mexico City (1968) and Moscow (1980), Beijing is the fourth city under authoritarian rule to host the games: Already 300,000 people had been forced to resettle. The IOC Evaluation Committee reported: the "political system" in China to be "working for China" and wrote: "The overall presence of strong governmental control and support is healthy...".
Boycotts and protests occur at many Olympic Games by groups of protesters, activists, or political groups who have grievances against the hosting country. Sometimes these activities are sanctioned by member states, such as in the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics. While no state has indicated a willingness to boycott the 2008 games, some groups are initiating independent campaigns to do so and other notable groups have called for protests.
Pro-Tibetan independence groups have initiated a campaign to protest the 2008 Summer Olympics. Among its other complaints concerning China's policies in Tibet, in particular, the group Students for a Free Tibet is protesting the Chinese government's use of the Tibetan antelope (chiru) as one of its five mascots.
The press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders was advocating a boycott of the 2008 games in Beijing, citing its abridgment of press and personal freedoms and the positive effects of earlier Olympic boycotts. After its first official visit to China in January of 2007, news media reported that it had ended its call for boycott after meeting with the Chinese authorities. However, its website still encourages people to petition the United Nations to initiate an official boycott.
Activists working to address the ongoing violence in Darfur, Sudan, have called for pressure to be exerted on China because of their financial and diplomatic support for Omar al-Bashir and the Sudanese government's proxy militias. Calls for sustained pressure and possible boycotts of the Olympics have come from French presidential candidate François Bayrou, actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow, Genocide Intervention Network Representative Ronan Farrow, author and Sudan scholar Eric Reeves and The Washington Post editorial board.
 Air quality
Some concern has been raised over the air quality of Beijing and its potential affect on athletes. While Beijing, in its initial bid in 2001, pledged to lower air pollution, data is showing that even if the city dramatically cut down on its emissions, pollution would drift over from neighboring provinces. At current levels, air pollution is at least 2 or 3 times higher than levels deemed safe by the World Health Organization. Dr. Marco Cardinale with the British Olympics Association has stated that air pollution coupled with heat and humidity makes it "very unlikely we'll see outstanding performances in endurance sports." Despite this, Beijing has pointed to the relocation of a prominent steel maker as an example of its commitment to improving air quality.
The Chinese government has also ensured that "blue skies are a requirement not only for Beijing, but also for the places around it."
The 2008 Olympic Games is the event in which the video game Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games takes place. This game is also the first one in which Nintendo and Sega's mascots Mario and Sonic The Hedgehog appear together as they were once rivals.
 See also
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympic bids
2008 Summer Paralympics
2008 Summer Olympic venues
International Olympic Committee
Zhang Yimou - co-directing the Opening Ceremonies.
Zhang Jigang - co-directing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Sports in China
Summer Olympic Games
China Olympic Total Solar Eclipse – total solar eclipse happens just one week prior the beginning of the Olympics.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games - A video game featuring Mario and Sonic characters based on these olympics.
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^ 2006 General Assembly of the FIEThe fencing programme will again include all six individual events and four team events, though the team events will be 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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 External links
Wikinews has news related to:
Forget driving to the Olympics, says Beijing
Official Website of the 2008 Summer Olympics
IOC Official 2008 Summer Olympics Website
Beijing 2008 Olympics Portal Information, photos, travel
Travel Website of the 2008 Summer Olympics
Beijing 2008 News Update
2008 Beijing Summer Olympics News
Articles about the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
The Beijing Olympics Photo gallery
Beijing Embraces 2008 Summer Olympics
IOC press release announcing Equestrian events in Hong Kong
Visit Olympics News about the Beijing and London Olympics
Pictograms for the Beijing 2008 Olympics with Chinese Hanzi, Pinyin and English for people learning Chinese Mandarin.
Exploring Chinese History Special Report on the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Beijing seeks theme song for 2008 Olympic Games
v • d • e
Sports • Medal counts • NOCsMedalists • Symbols
Summer Games: 1896, 1900, 1904, 19061, 1908, 1912, (1916)2, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940)2, (1944)2, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024
Winter Games: 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940)2, (1944)2, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022
Recent and Upcoming GamesAthens 2004 — Turin 2006 — Beijing 2008 — Vancouver 2010 — London 2012
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