Bid Main article: Bids for the 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing was elected as the host city for the 2008 Summer Olympics on July 13, 2001, during the 112th IOC Session in Moscow, defeating bids from Toronto, Paris, Istanbul, and Osaka. Prior to the session, five other cities (Bangkok, Cairo, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and Seville) had submitted bids to the IOC but failed to make the short list chosen by the IOC Executive Committee in 2000. After the first round of voting, Beijing held a significant lead over the other four candidates. Osaka received only six votes and was eliminated. In the second round, Beijing was supported by an absolute majority of voters, eliminating the need for subsequent rounds.[8] 2008 Summer Olympics bidding results City NOC Round 1 Round 2 Beijing China 44 56 Toronto Canada 20 22 Paris France 15 18 Istanbul Turkey 17 9 Osaka Japan 6 Members of the IOC did not disclose their votes, but news reports speculated that broad international support led to China's selection, especially from developing nations who had received assistance from China in the construction of stadiums. The size of China, its increased enforcement of doping controls, and sympathy concerning its loss of the 2000 Summer Olympics to Sydney were all factors in the decision.[9] Eight years earlier, Beijing had led every round of voting for the 2000 Summer Olympics before losing to Sydney by two votes in the final round.[10] Human rights concerns expressed by Amnesty International and politicians in both Europe and the United States were considered by the delegates, according to IOC Executive Director Francois Carrard. Carrard and others suggested that the selection might lead to improvements in human rights in China. In addition, a number of IOC delegates who had formerly been athletes expressed concern about heat and air quality during the Games. China outlined plans to address these environmental concerns in its bid application.[9] [edit]Costs On March 6, 2009 the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games reported that total spending on the games was "generally as much as that of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games", which was equivalent to about US$15 billion. They went on to claim that surplus revenues from the Games would exceed the original target of $16 million.[11] Other reports, however, estimated the total costs from $40 billion to $44 billion, which would make the Games "far and away the most expensive ever".[12][13][14] [edit]Venues Main articl

s: 2008 Summer Olympics venues, Olympic Green, and Beijing National Stadium By May 2007 the construction of all 31 Beijing-based Olympic Games venues had begun.[15] The Chinese government renovated and constructed six venues outside Beijing as well as 59 training centres. The largest structures built were the Beijing National Stadium, Beijing National Indoor Stadium, Beijing National Aquatics Center, Olympic Green Convention Center, Olympic Green, and Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center. Almost 85% of the construction budget for the six main venues was funded by $2.1 billion (RMB?17.4 billion) in corporate bids and tenders. Investments were expected from corporations seeking ownership rights after the Olympics.[16] Some events were held outside Beijing, namely football in Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin; sailing in Qingdao; and, because of the "uncertainties of equine diseases and major difficulties in establishing a disease-free zone", the equestrian events were held in Hong Kong.[17] The Beijing National Stadium, dubbed "The Bird's Nest" The centrepiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics was the Beijing National Stadium, nicknamed "The Bird's Nest" because of its nest-like skeletal structure. The stadium hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics competition.[18] Construction of the venue began on December 24, 2003. The Guangdong Olympic Stadium was originally planned, constructed, and completed in 2001 to help host the Games, but a decision was made to construct a new stadium in Beijing.[19] In 2001, the city held a bidding process to select the best arena design. Several criteria were required of each design, including flexibility for post-Olympics use, a retractable roof, and low maintenance costs.[20] The entry list was narrowed to thirteen final designs.[21] The bird's nest model submitted by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in collaboration with Li Xinggang of China Architecture Design and Research Group (CADG) was selected as the top design by both a professional panel and by a broader audience during a public exhibition. The selection of the design became official in April 2003.[20] Construction of the stadium was a joint venture among the original designers, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist Ai Weiwei, and a group of CADG architects led by Li Xinggang. Its $423 million cost was funded by the state-owned corporate conglomerate CITIC and the Beijing State-Owned Assets Management Company.