Olympics 2008 - Beijing
April 3, 2008 - 8:26 AM
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Olympics is an international sporting event conducted once in every 4 years by the International Olympic Committee. Tracing back the history, according to the legend, the ancient Olympic games were founded by the Roman Hercules. The modern Summer Olympic Game was first held in 1896 in Athens, Greece and included approximately around 42 events only. It was in the year 1904 that medals were introduced to the winning teams. The games of the XXIX Olympiad will be celebrated from 8 August 2008 to 24 August 2008 in Beijing.

Beijing was elected the host city on July 13, 2001, during the 112th IOC Session in Moscow, beating Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. By May 2007, construction of all thirty-one Beijing-based Olympic Games venues had begun. The Chinese government is also investing in the renovation and construction of six venues outside Beijing as well as fifty-nine training centers. 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. Almost 85 percent of the construction budget for the six main venues is being funded by US$2.1 billion (RMB 17.4 billion) in corporate bids and tenders. 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.

Anticipating a huge rush during the games, Beijing's subway system is currently undergoing a major expansion which will increase its capacity to more than twice its existing size. On June 26, 2005, The Beijing Olympic Committee announced that the slogan for the 2008 Olympics will be "One World, One Dream" The slogan calls upon the whole world to join in the Olympic spirit and build a better future for humanity. It was chosen from over 210,000 entries submitted from around the world.

The program 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 event more in total than in Athens.