When do the Beijing Olympics start?

When do the 2008 Olympic Games start? The Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics will take place this Friday, August 8 at 8:08 PM. That should be the official start of the Olympics, but apparently that’s not the case in China.

To my surprise the first football (soccer) matches already take place tomorrow (see the schedule here). At 5 PM Wednesday afternoon the first 3 women’s preliminary matches will start, with another 3 later that evening. And on Thursday there will be 8 men’s preliminaries in football stadiums all over China. Interesting is that none of these games takes place in Beijing, the first football match in the capital city will only take place after the Olympic flame has been lit.

I don’t know too much about past Olympic events, but is it normal that some matches take place before the Games officially start?

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  1. yep thats normal because the football tournament has a lot of matches and otherwise it could not be finished before the end of the Games. I have seen this in the previous games also. Don’t if it also happened at the games before I knew about the games (first one I saw was 1976)