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Olympics attracts galaxy of leaders
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09:13, August 14, 2008

The Foreign Ministry revealed yesterday that a total of 80 world leaders attended the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, setting a new record in the Games' history.

Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said that 54 heads of state, 16 heads of government, nine representatives of royal families and one regional leader attended the ceremony.

But this is not the only record Beijing has set in terms of world leaders' participation in humankind's biggest party.

US President George W. Bush, who brought six family members and stayed an unprecedented four days to cheer on US athletes, was actually the first US president to attend an Olympics on foreign soil, while South Korean President Lee Myung-bak created a similar precedent for his country.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country is currently holding the rotating presidency of the European Union, was the first president to officially represent both France and Europe at an Olympics in a foreign country.

It is expected that another wave of world leaders, including Finnish President Tarja Halonen, will gather as the Games draw to a close.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is scheduled to attend the closing ceremony, will be handed the Olympic flag here on behalf of London, host of the 2012 Games.

Source:China Daily</i

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1 China 17 5 5 27
2 USA 10 8 11 29
3 South Korea 6 6 1 13
5 Germany 6 1 2 9
4 Italy 4 4 3 11
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