CNN reported  that the Philippine government has offered 9.5 million pesos to any athlete who brings home their first-ever Olympic gold medal. The government ponied up the first five mil and private businesses kicked up the remaining. According to Wikipedia, there are 15 competitors in 8 sports in the 2008 Games and their chances look as good as they did the last two games where they blanked on medals in Sydney and Athens.
According to The Epoch Times , China spent approximately 2.0 billion yuan (~$292 million USD) on its delegation across the four years of preparation. China has 639 competitors in the Beijing Games, putting the cost of each competitor at about half a million dollars over four years.
According to NPR , the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics cost about $100 million. That makes it about half a million per minute ($476k) and about eight grand spent each second. Absolutely AMAZING.
Finally, Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, cost an estimated 4 billion yuan, or about half a billion US dollars according to Wikipedia .
And absolutely no mention of Michael Phelps and 8. Well, until I mentioned that I didn’t mention it. 🙂