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13 Jul 2007
Olympic News , Beijing 2008

The Olympic Games en route for Beijing

391 is the number of days left until the start of 16 days of sport, emotion and dreams in Beijing during the next Olympic Games. The countdown started exactly six years ago, on 13 July 2001 in Moscow, when the Chinese capital was chosen to host the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. This was the culmination of a candidature and the story of a dream come true. For the first time, the Middle Kingdom would be hosting the Games, the fifth edition (winter and summer combined) to be held in Asia.
There could be only one
Ten is the number of cities accepted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in early 2000 as applicant cities to host the Olympic Games in 2008. Of these, Beijing was applying for the second time. The first time, the Chinese city lost by two votes to Sydney in the final round of the election to choose the host city for the Games in 2000.
Five is the number of candidate cities selected by the IOC Executive Board on 28 August 2000. Beijing, Istanbul, Osaka, Paris and Toronto were in the starting blocks.
Only one could win: Beijing! The 112th IOC Session in Moscow chose the imperial city to hold the 2008 Games. The IOC members made their choice in just two rounds of voting. On 13 July 2001, the Games moved from Europe to Asia, and the people of Beijing jumped for joy. A few days later, another handover occurred: the seventh IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, presented the keys of the institution to the current President, Jacques Rogge.
The Games in Asia
Five is the number of editions of the Games that the Asian continent will have hosted since the Olympic Games were restored in 1896. Tokyo 1964: for the first time, the Olympic athletes’ achievements were broadcast in colour on television. Sapporo 1972: the bobsleighs hurtled down the first track built for them in Asia. Seoul 1988: the official song, entitled Hand in Hand, was an international hit. Nagano 1998: the official uniforms for the Organising Committee staff were made of fully recyclable fibres and materials.
Asia, the world’s most highly populated continent, is an integral part of the Olympic spirit. Beijing will be no exception.
Chinese dream
"One world, one dream" is the slogan for the Beijing Games, chosen from over 210,000 entries sent in from all over the world. It expresses the common desire of the whole world to respond to the call of the Olympic spirit and seek to build a better future for humanity. The Games emblem, in the form of a Chinese seal which shows a dancing figure, invites the peoples of the world to share in the celebration: approximately 10,500 athletes, 28 sports, 302 events and innovative architectural creations, such as  the “Bird’s Nest" (the National Olympic Stadium) or the “Water Cube” (the National Aquatics Centre).

At 8.08 on 8 August 2008, Beijing will become the heart of the Olympic world!

 Learn more about the election of Beijing 2008
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