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Beijing Olympics: Moments to Cherish...Forever!

Archive» Beijing Olympics closing ceremony. See below for credit details.
Photos courtesy: en.beijing2008.cn. Illustration: eEyeCam

A view of the festivities in the National Stadium during the Closing Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 24, 2008 in Beijing, China. Photo credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images via en.beijing2008.cn

New York, August 24, 2008- In the history of modern Olympics since it was first held in Athens, Greece in 1896, this year's Beijing Olympics, the 29th Olympic Games, perhaps is the most memorable, not only because of the world record-breaking performances by the athletes but because of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of volunteer cheer leaders making the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies flawless.

There was a cheering audience of more than 90 thousand people inside the Birdcage, the venue for the opening and the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. It was also watched by billions of media viewers around the world. Thus the Beijing Olympics was testimony that the world can come together to celebrate human physical achievement and the spirit of sportsmanship and friendship while competing against each other.

Acrobatic artistes perform on the memory tower at the Closing Ceremony. Photo credit: Xinhua via en.beijing2008.cn

For China, the emerging super power and a modern style communist country with a billion people and the power of wealth, they made it look easy to host an Olympics with 204 nations participating to win the heart of gold spirit.

Some estimate that China spent more than 44 billion U.S. dollars in this single game.

Performance of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games closing ceremony in the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, Beijing, capital of China. Photo credit: Xinhua via en.beijing2008.cn

In his speech at the closing ceremony, IOC president Jacques Rogge said, "Tonight, we come to the end of 16 glorious days which we will cherish forever.

Thank you to the people of China, all the wonderful volunteers and BOCOG!

Through these Games, the world learned more about China, and China learned more about the world. Athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees came to these dazzling venues and awed us with their talent."

He praised the athletes for their spirit and achievements saying, "New stars were born. Stars from past Games amazed us again. We shared their joys and their tears, and we marveled at their ability. We will long remember the achievements we witnessed here.

To the athletes tonight: You were true role models. You have shown us the unifying power of sport. The Olympic spirit lives in the warm embrace of competitive rivals from nations in conflict. Keep that spirit alive when you return home.

These were truly exceptional Games!"

President of the BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad) Liu Qi said,

"One World, One Dream." The world today is in need of mutual understanding, inclusiveness, cooperation and harmonious development. The Beijing Olympic Games is a testimony of the fact that the world has rested its trust rested in China. Owing to the Games, people have been united as one Olympic family, regardless of their nationalities, ethnic origins and cultural backgrounds. Their understanding has been deepened and their friendship renewed. The Chinese people, teeming with enthusiasm, have honoured the commitments they solemnly made. They have realised the concepts of "Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics and People's Olympics", leaving a huge and rich legacy both in culture and sport. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is a grand celebration of sport, a grand celebration of peace and a grand celebration of friendship."

Earlier in the opening ceremony Liu said, "Hosting an Olympic Games has been a century-old dream for the Chinese nation. For seven years, ever since Beijing won its Olympic bid, the hearts of 1.3 billion Chinese people have been pulsating in unison with the Olympic Movement."

Olympic Medals that Count at the End of the Day

With 51 gold medals, China topped the gold medal standings for the first time ahead of the United States' 36 count, but China came 2nd in over all medal count with 100 medals while United States secured 1st place with 110 medals. Russia came on 3rd with 72 medals. Out of the 204 countries only 87 countries won one or more medals in the Beijing Olympics.

The 23-year-old American swimmer Michael Phelps won his 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and, after 36 years, broke Mark Spitz’s single Games record of seven gold medals. Mark Andrew Spitz, also an American swimmer, won seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games which was held in Munich, then West Germany.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt won three gold medals and set three world records in the sprints.

At the Beijing Olympics, athletes broke total 43 world records and 132 Olympic records.

Make Love not War

Russia's Natalia Paderina [left] and Georgia's Nino Salukvadze hug during the medal ceremony. Photo: AP via telegraph.co.uk

Olympic Games were postponed in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to 1st and 2nd World Wars. But those postponements never diminished the importance of the Olympics. This is the only event where people from around the world come together to celebrate sportsmanship and compete for excellence no matter what the circumstances are.

A touching moment came at this Olympics when the gold medalist of the 10-meter air pistol event, Nino Salukvadze of Georgia embraced 2nd-placed Natalia Paderina of Russia even as their countries were fighting back home.

What next? See you in London, UK in 2012

The next Olympics will be held in London, United Kingdom in 2012. London hosted the Olympics twice in the past, first in 1908, and again in 1948.

-Pradeep Thapa Magar in New York. Comments? 551-358-7726

The sacred flame of the Beijing Olympics is extinguished at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony. Photo credit: Xinhua via en.beijing2008.cn

The Olympic rings are pictured during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China. Photo credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images via en.beijing2008.cn

Russia's Natalia Paderina [left] and Georgia's Nino Salukvadze during the medal ceremony. Photo: AP via telegraph.co.uk
  Read our special feature presentation at:

» Olympics update: Winners of the Beijing Olympics
America's Michael Phelps with 7 World Records and 8 Gold Medals in Beijing Olympics Becomes the World's Hero As Well
» Lenka's Olympic Dream Becomes Real After 22 Years in Trampoline
» Nepalese Athletes Dreaming Big in Beijing Olympics
» नेपालको हिमालबाट प्रेरणा लिने कोरियन प्रशिक्षक के भन्छन्‌?
"Nepalese mountains taught me something important in life that I have never learned anywhere."-Kwon Hyouk Joung, Tae-kwon-do Coach, Nepal

» Profiles of 8 Nepalese Athletes Competing in Beijing Olympics
 » With Only 2 Months of Training: Nepalese Olympians Hope to Break Their Own National Records in Beijing
» Beijing Olympic 2008: Facts That You Need to Know
» 20 American Mothers in Beijing Olympics
596 American Athletes will compete in all 30 Games of the Olympics
» साढे दश हजार खेलाडिहरुले भाग लिने खेलमा नेपाली ८ जना भिड्‍ने
   बेजिङ ओलम्पिकमा नेपाली खेलाडिहरुले नेपालको आफ्नै रेकर्ड तोड्‍ने?
  तपाईंको भनाइ लेखी छाड्‍न र अरुको भनाइ पढ्न यहाँ क्लिक गर्नुहोस्
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