The Beijing 2008 Olympics: in numbers

Ten stats that show just how big the Beijing games were

Image: Kevin Lawver via Wikimedia Commons
Besides the many mean feats of athletic achievement, Beijing 2008 also set a new standard in Olympic pageantry. Here's just a handful of the standout figures from the games.

4.7 billion

people worldwide watched the Beijing Olympics on TV – that's two-thirds of the Earth's human population.

44 billion

The estimated total cost (in USD) of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, including all infrastructure, venues, logistics and operating costs. A fair penny.


drummers kicked off the opening ceremony.

Image: U.S. Army via Wikimedia Commons


athletes from 204 countries competed in the 2008 Olympics.


world records were broken, while 109 new Olympic records were set.


Mongolia (men's judo) and Panama (men's long jump) collected their first-ever gold medals.

The Marshall Islands came too – they didn't win a medal, but it's the taking part that counts, of course.
Image: U.S. Army via Wikimedia Commons


The Bahamas (2) had the best medals per capita return, at one for every 153,725 people; India (3) had the worst, scooping up one for every 382,665,299 of its population.


China's final total medal count (following the later stripping of three golds) – 48 gold, 22 silver and 30 bronze.

Chinese gymnast Yang Wei wins gold in the men's individual all-round.
Image: eviltomthai via Wikimedia Commons


The age of the oldest competitor at the games, Japanese horse rider Hiroshi Hoketsu; 12-year-old Cameroonian swimmer Antoinette Guedia Mouafo was the youngest.


km travelled on the controversial pre-Olympic torch relay.

Sources: Nielsen, ESPN,

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