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12IOC Marketing Report – Beijing 2008 Chapter OneOne World, One Dream Beijing 2008 Summary From the first deep, rolling drumbeats of the Opening Ceremony to the fireworks that brought Beijing 2008 to a close just over two weeks later, the Games of the XXIX Olympiad proved an unforgettable spectacle. The brilliantly- orchestrated Opening Ceremony, which distilled 5,000 years of Chinese history into a sublime visual feast, set the tone for 16 days of incredible sporting action. The arrival of the Olympic torch at the National Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on 8 August marked the first record to be broken – the end of the longest Torch Relay in Olympic history. After being lit at Olympia in Greece on 24 March, the Olympic torch travelled an incredible 137,000 kilometres, visiting an unprecedented 21 countries. When it was finally handed to Chinese gold medal gymnast Li Ning, the torch had passed through the hands of thousands of torchbearers. The world then watched in awe as Li Ning was hoisted into the air before leaping around the perimeter of the stadium's roof and lighting the Olympic cauldron. Not only were the Games being hosted in the world's most populous country, but record numbers of National Olympic Committees were there to take part, with athletes from 204 NOCs parading past enthralled spectators in the Bird's Nest during the Opening Ceremony. Among the 10,500 competitors who participated in Beijing 2008, there were also more women than at any other Olympic Games. " Through these Games, the world learned more about China, and China learned more about the world. Athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees came to these dazzling venues and awed us with their talent." Jacques Rogge, President, International Olympic Committee