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Often called the greatest sporting show on earth, the world is turning its collective eyes towards the Central Kingdom - Beijing, China for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

The Beijing 2008 Summer Games has not been without controversy since the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing its host city status on July 13, 2001. It beat out other city contenders such as Toronto Canada, Paris France, Istanbul Turkey and Osaka Japan, despite numerous concerns for the city's environmental pollution levels, and China's history of human rights violations.

Still, despite the criticisms, China is committed to throwing a spectacular event to emphasize it's status as a new economic power on the world stage. The Games will serve as its coming out party if you will.

It had been rumored that the spare no expense for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games would reach a total of $37 billion US, three times that of the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games. But with mounting criticism of social inequality, the extravagance was scaled back to be the games for the people.

Officially, the slogan for the Beijing Olympics is "One World, One Dream" where 205 nations will compete in 28 sports encompassing 302 events. The logo for the XXIX Olympiad is a stamp seal of the Chinese character "Jing" for Beijing. The stylized calligraphy character has been anointed the name of "Dancing Beijing".

The official Olympic mascots are a set of five beings known as FUWA. Their names are Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini. Not only does each mascot represent a distinct Olympic ring, they also each respresent a tradtional Chinese element of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Sky. Beibei is Blue and she represents Water. Her character is a Fish. Jingjing black and represents Wood. He is a Giant Panda. Huanhuan is red and he represents Fire. He is the Olympic Flame. Yinggying is yellow and he represents the Earth. He is an antelope. Nini is green and she represents the sky. She is a swallow.

The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games will officially commence on August 8, 2008 and end on August 24, 2008. The Opening Ceremony will begin at 08:08:08 pm CST. The number 8 has special significance in the Chinese culture as it is said to be a lucky number.

I'm sure that the rest of the world wishes good luck to Beijing as well. Here's to hoping to a safe and secure Games where the athletes astonishes us with great feats of strength, speed, and endurance. Let the greatest sporting show begin!

Olympic Blvd is the place to celebrate all things related to the Olympic Games such as FUWA mascot plush dolls and FUWA mascot keychains. Great source for Olympic merchandise.

Article Source: Let the 2008 Beijing Summer Games Begin!

 
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