The competition comes to an end Sunday at the Beijing Olympics.  The Olympic flame, which has burned for 16 days will be extinguished during a lavish closing ceremony at the National Stadium.  But as VOA's Jim Stevenson reports, gold medals remain to be won in 12 events on the final day.

Sunday will be unique because every event on the schedule will end with an Olympic champion.  The long men's basketball tournament has come down to the championship game.  The United States plays Spain.  U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski says the game caps a long and calculated effort.

"This is the final step for this four-year period.  Now our goal is to win the gold medal.  And to develop a program that other players want to be a part of for the next Olympics," said Krzyzewski.  "Now we have to close the deal by winning that gold medal."

Other tournaments will determine champions in men's team handball and men's water polo.

Boxing will showcase half of the day's finals with six title bouts.  Gold medals will be draped around the winners of the light flyweight, bantamweight, lightweight, welterweight, light heavyweight and popular super heavyweight divisions.

The group all-around final concludes the Rhythmic Gymnastics competition.  And the final athletics event links the ancient Olympics with the modern games as the men's marathon covers 42-kilometers through the streets of Beijing.  The winner will break the tape inside the National Stadium.

Also at the so-called Birds Nest, the closing ceremonies will cement the China Games in Olympic history.  The next Olympics will be in two years when Vancouver, Canada hosts the Winter Games.  The Summer Olympics return in 2012 when athletes will gather in London.