Beijing was the Games of records and superlatives. The Opening Ceremony was unforgettable; the athletes’ achievements were astonishing, the organisation was excellent; the venues, breathtaking and the anti-doping tests were stricter. Several hundred million watched worldwide on TV as more than 40 world records and over 130 Olympic records were broken.
The National Stadium, nick-named the “Bird’s Nest”, and the National Swimming Centre, known as the “Water Cube”, were both stunning symbols of the new Beijing. In cycling, the road race followed the Great Wall and passed in front of the “Forbidden City”—two symbols of the thousand-year-old history of the city.
A record 204 National Olympic Committees took part in the Games. Some 87 of them celebrated their medal-winning athletes. Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mauritius and Togo all experienced podium finishes for the first time. Tajikistan won its first medals thanks to Rasul Boqiev in judo and Yusup Abdusalomov in wrestling; Afghanistan stepped up on to the podium thanks to Rohullah Nikpai in taekwondo.
See the list of teams and medals won by each.See table