2008 Beijing Olympics

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 December, 2008, 12:00am

August 8

Beijing hosted the greatest show on Earth in August. The Olympics opening ceremony was a visual feast that stunned the world

Liu Xiang

There was despair for Liu Xiang, the mainland's 110m hurdles hero. Liu broke the hearts of millions of Chinese when he quit the competition because of injury.

It was a shocking exit. The nation had high hopes of its hero winning his second Olympic gold after his victory in Athens four years ago.

Most medals

The mainland topped the medals table with 51 gold, 21 silver and 28 bronze medals. Mainland athletes reigned supreme in table tennis and grabbed all the gold medals.

Usain Bolt

Triple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt was the star of the track in Beijing. The 22-year-old Jamaican captured the 100-metre (9.69 sec), 200m (19.30 sec) and 4x100m (37.10 sec) titles in word record times.

The Paralympics

Held in Beijing from September 6 to 17, the Paralympics were also dominated by mainland athletes. The mainland won 89 gold, 70 silver and 52 bronze medals - double the tally achieved by second-placed Britain.

Hong Kong ranked 26th, with five gold, three silver and three bronze medals. Both the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian competitions were held in Hong Kong. It was the first time the city had hosted such a large-scale sports event. And Hong Kong put on a great show for the world.

Michael Phelps

More than 40 new records were established during the 16-day showpiece. American swimmer Michael Phelps made history by winning eight gold medals. He beat Mark Spitz's record of seven golds in a single Olympics, achieved at the 1972 Munich Games. Overall, Phelps has won 14 gold medals, including six at the 2004 Athens Games.