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OLYMPIC REVIEW RESULTS7 BEIJING HIGHLIGHTS W here with such a kaleidoscope of different memories does one begin? Shaking one's head, the colourful recollections change immediately into a different pattern, so that one's mind is unable to focus lengthily on any single event at what were an astonishing Olympic Games. Perhaps, first, one must praise the Chinese. They provided an almost flawless organisation, magnificent stadiums and Villages, and the willingness and constant good humour of the volunteers, always the least appreciated cogs in the vast machine of hosting the event. Staging the Olympic Summer Games is the biggest operation that any country can undertake in peacetime and this one was bigger in scale than any of its predecessors. The Chinese can only be congratulated for their accomplishment. A record 204 National Olympic Committees participated, with vast crowds attending many of the sports. There were record television figures, with the Opening Ceremony alone generating an 80 percent audience share in China and 50 percent both in the United States and some leading European markets. When Michael Phelps secured ? OUTOF THIS WORLD THE 2008 BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES PROVIDED UNFORGETTABLE DRAMA AND MAGNIFICENT ACHIEVEMENT IN SUPERB SETTINGS. JOHN GOODBODY, WHO HAS COVERED EVERY OLYMPIC GAMES SINCE 1964, PROVIDES A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF HIS MAIN HIGHLIGHTS DURING THE 16 DAYS OF SPORTING EXCELLENCE Below The magnificent and iconic Bird's Nest and Water Cube – the centrepiece stadia of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

more countries are now winning medals, so giving them a direct reference to the Olympic Games. In Beijing, competitors from a record 87 National Olympic Committees took medals, with competitors from Afghanistan, Mauritius, Tajikistan and Togo being on the podium for the first time, while Bahrain, Mongolia and Panama collected their first golds. Air rifle marksman Abhinav Bindra also won India's first individual title, a performance which hopefully will rouse the sleeping giant of Olympic sport, and a feat which also caused his mother, Babli, to joke: " Now I have lots of work ahead, as he is the country's most eligible bachelor." However, despite the range of activities among the 28 sports on the programme in Beijing, two individuals in two different sports thrust their formidable presence above all the other competitors. They were American swimmer Michael Phelps and BEIJING HIGHLIGHTS Below Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history after winning eight gold medals in the pool his record- breaking eighth swimming gold medal, 39.9 million American viewers were watching on NBC, its highest Saturday evening ratings for 18 years. There were 43 world and 132 Olympic records set. With the ever- increasing use of the internet, there were also five million unique visitors to www. olympic. org in the first week alone, twice as many as during the entire 2004 Olympic Games. What was notably heartening about 2008 is that