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Beijing Summer Olympics, 2008

On 13 July 2001 at the 112th IOC Session in Moscow, The Chinese capital Beijing was elected the Host City for the Games of the 29th (XXIX) Olympiad, to be held in 2008. They beat rival bidding cities Istanbul, Osaka, Paris and Toronto. The event motto for Beijing 2008 is “One World, One Dream”.

Beijing ice cube swimming arena Beijing ice cube swimming arena

Despite the concerns about traffic congestion and high pollution levels in Beijing, the event promised spectacular venues, huge crowds and a hardline on doping, and in general it did not disappoint.

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Beijing authorities made air pollution their major priority in the lead up to the 2008 Games. Throughout 2006, many athletes visiting from other countries struggled to cope with the poor air quality. Beijing municipality is currently introducing a number of key measures to help improve air quality, such as relocating polluting factories, renovating coal-burning boilers, replacing taxis and buses that have excessive emissions, and working to reduce sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions in all power plants. At Games time, factories were closed for the duration of the event, and limits placed on the number of cars permitted on the roads. In the end pollution was not a significant factor. More on the pollution problem.

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