As the Games were returned to their traditional home, many critics complained of another Greek tragedy with construction delays, budget blowouts and security issues. After the roof went on the stadium, comments became positive as a spectacular Games was delivered.
10,882 (6,454 men, 4,428 women) competitors from 202 nations participated in 28 sports and 301 events over a fortnight. USA continued its dominance with a reduced gold medal tally of 35 as the power nations shuffled – China now 2nd with 32, the Russian Federation 3rd with 27 and Australia 4th with 17.
Although previous Olympic Torch relays visited other countries, this was considered the first truly global Olympic Torch Relay having visited five continents. Over 260 million people are estimated to have seen the Olympic Flame in their city.
These Games enjoyed an increased global television viewer ship by 20 percent, on average.
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