Beijing produced the biggest and perhaps the best Olympics ever in 2008. A record 204 nations and nearly 11,000 athletes took part in the Beijing Games that served as China’s showcase to the rest of the world that they have finally arrived as a sporting superpower. The facilities built, such as the “Bird’s Nest” and the “Water Cube”, were topnotch, and models of outstanding architecture.
The Chinese ran away with the most gold medals, bagging 51, 15 more than the USA’s haul. Eight of the Americans’ gold medals came from one man – swimmer Michael Phelps – who blitzed the opposition in the pool to beat Mark Spitz’s seven-gold haul in Munich in 1972. The other outstanding individual performance came from Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who claimed the golds in the 100m and 200m, setting world records in both events in the process. On the court, the USA sent its “Redeem Team” to recapture lost basketball glory, and the NBA stars led by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard did not disappoint, going undefeated and capping off an excellent run by holding off a game Spain in the gold medal match. (Source: Olympic.org)
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