Tourism has been hurt by visa controls, high prices, and unrest in Tibet.
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang withdrew from competition today in a huge blow to the host nation. But many athletes say such disappointments spur dedication – and successful comebacks.
‘Protest pens’ have been empty. Those who have sought permission to demonstrate have been detained or harassed.
"Jenny” Lang Ping and Chow Liang, the coaches of the US volleyball team and American gymnast Shawn Johnson respectively, have returned home to great acclaim.
Gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser finished 0.2 seconds ahead of Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, who tied for silver in a photo finish.
Badminton player Lin Dan and diver Guo Jingjing stand out – both as gold medalists and as rebels in a sports system specifically designed to avoid such things.
Michael Phelps’s eight gold medals in these Games could help make the swimmer the greatest Olympian of all time.
John Dane III made several failed Olympic bids before the 2005 hurricane destroyed his yacht manufacturing business. He persevered, rebuilt his business, and is now sailing for gold.
Tourists complain that security concerns have subdued Beijing's nightlife
Up to 1.5 million residents lost their homes to Olympics-related development, often with little compensation or choice. Defiant homeowners have seen their property trashed.
Cyclist Sarah Hammer quit at age 20 to pursue a ‘normal’ life. Now she’s going for gold.