MEXICO CITY， Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Games of the XXIX Olympiad were the first one to be organized by China and from the beginning they met the great expectation of becoming a memorable event due to all the colors， culture， level of competition and the investment that they represented.
The 29th Olympic Games began on Aug. 8， 2008 with the opening ceremony and came to a close on Aug. 24. The inaugural date bore a great significance for the Chinese as they consider the number eight to be lucky. The opening ceremony was watched all over the world and was considered by many to be the best inaugural events ever seen.
In Beijing's National Stadium， the light display， choreography and talent showed the world around the main milestones in Chinese culture， under the artistic direction of filmmaker Zhang Yimou.
Chinese contributions to universal culture such as paper， printing， porcelain and the compass along with icons such as the Great Wall， the Terracotta Army and the Silk Road， were all part of the spectacle filled with history and technology. Afterwards， 10，942 athletes from 204 delegations participated in the opening parade and went on to compete in 302 events.
The Olympic cauldron was lit by Chinese artistic gymnast Li Ning， whose run along the stadium's roof slowly revealed a scroll showing the Olympic Torch's journey across the world.
The Games were also memorable for the architecture. The National Stadium was re-named the "Bird's Nest" and the National Swimming Center was known as the "Water Cube" due to their avant-garde models and symbols of the new Beijing.
The "Water Cube" bore witness to one of the best Olympic achievements of all time when U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps became the athlete with the most first-place finishes at any single Olympics. He won eight gold medals at Beijing， five of them were in individual events.
During the Games， the headlines were also stolen by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt， who won 100 and 200 meters events， setting new world records in both. He also won and set the world record with his teammates in the 4x100 meters relay.
Bolt was the first athlete to win three golds in men's track and field at one Olympics since U.S. sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis in 1984.
Another memorable world record was smashed by Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva， who took home the gold and the world record in pole vaulting when she cleared 5.05 meters.
Tajikistan， Afghanistan， Mauritius and Togo all experienced podium finishes for the first time during these Games. However， Mongolia， Bahrain and Panama managed to go one better with their athletes bringing home their country's first Olympic gold.
In team sports， it is worth mentioning Argentina's gold in men's soccer. The team was captained by soccer star Lionel Messi. The U.S. "dream teams" in both men's and women's basketball also took home the golds.
BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES MEDAL TABLE
COUNTRY GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
China 51 21 28 100
U.S. 36 38 36 110
Russia 23 21 28 72
UK 19 13 15 47
Germany 16 10 15 41
Australia 14 15 17 46
South Korea 13 10 8 31
Japan 9 6 10 25
Italy 8 10 10 28
France 7 16 17 40
A U.S. judge on Tuesday approved one of the biggest corporate settlements on record michael kors clutches australia , Volkswagen AG's (VOWG_p.DE) $14.7 billion deal arising from its diesel emissions cheating scandal, and the German automaker said it would begin buying back polluting cars in mid-November.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco signed off on VW's settlement with federal and California regulators and the owners of the 475 michael kors accessories australia ,000 polluting diesel vehicles in a pivotal moment for the world's No. 2 automaker as it tries to move past a scandal that has engulfed it for more than a year.
VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software in its diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner in testing than they really were. In reality, the vehicles emitted up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution levels.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller told reporters in Berlin that Breyer's approval was "an important milestone for us on the way towards clearing up the problem that we caused some time ago." Hinrich Woebcken michael kors handbags australia clearance , president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, pledged to carry out the terms "as seamlessly as possible."
Breyer turned away objections from car owners who thought the settlement did not provide enough money michael kors handbags australia online , saying it "adequately and fairly compensates" them. Owners will get the pre-scandal "trade in" value of the vehicle and $5,100 to $10 michael kors handbags australia ,000 in additional compensation.
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Volkswagen agreed to spend up to $10.033 billion on the buybacks and owner compensation and $4.7 billion on programs to offset excess emissions and boost clean-vehicle projects.
The settlement was reached with the U.S. Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission michael kors australia , the state of California and vehicle owners who had filed a class action lawsuit against VW. Volkswagen has admitted to misleading regulators and still faces an ongoing criminal investigation.
It represented the largest civil settlement worldwide ever reached with an automaker accused of misconduct.
While huge, the approved deal was still smaller than the $246 billion settlement reached by cigarette makers with 46 U.S. states in 1998 and the $53 billion by BP to address costs and penalties arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In total michael kors miranda leather wallet , Volkswagen has agreed to date to spend up to $16.5 billion in connection with the scandal, including payments to dealers michael kors hamilton wallet black , states and attorneys for owners. The scandal rattled VW's global business, harmed its reputation and prompted the ouster of its CEO.
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