108 years after the modern Olympic Games had been established in Athens, this global festival of sport returned home in the summer of 2004. Officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad a record 201 nations participated. The United States were once again the most successful nation, but the People's Republic of China underlined its relentless improvement on the world sporting stage by finishing in second place.
Great Britain runner Kelly Holmes won gold in both the 800m and the 1500m. Swimmer Michael Phelps won six gold medals and set a single-Games record with eight total medals and Leontien Ziljaard-van Moorsel became the first female cyclist to earn four career gold medals, reaching a total of six Olympic medals.