Beijing Olympics Close in Grand Style

Beijing was also a center for international cooperation and protest. Half a million Chinese volunteers welcomed Olympic visitors to the most expensive Olympics in history. A Georgian and Russian embraced at shooting range while their countries were embroiled in armed conflict.

Conflict and protestors also made themselves heard at the most-watched Olympics Games ever. Protestors from Students for a Free Tibet took to Tiananmen Square and other popular sites around Beijing almost daily. Religious freedom activists were detained and questioned while President Bush made history as the first sitting American president to attend the Olympics.

But overall, the IOC deemed the Beijing Games a successful one that went beyond the confines of sport.

"The world learned more about China, and China learned more about the rest of the world," Rogge said.

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