The Chinese capital is an ancient city but astonishingly, most of it that we saw on the small screen, most particularly during the two marathons, looked like it had been built in the last few months.
That, of course, is another story but the games themselves served up a cornucopia, enough to more than fill the memories of fans for the four year gap to the London games in 2012.
The U.S. team, it has to be said, performed very strongly across the board with just a few avoidable disappointments such as the baton fiascos in the men’s and women’s four by one hundred meters relay.
We’ll not forget Michael Phelps in a hurry, nor Shawn and Nastia and the many, many others who gave of their best in arguably the best ever games from a purely sporting perspective.
Hats off too to the Irish boxers who came home with three medals and all who competed for their country, a sporting minnow compared to the likes of the U.S. and China, a country that will have drawn enormous confidence from the success of these games, a confidence that, we can only hope, will lead to more openness.