The 2008 Olympics were held in Beijing, China with a 204 participating nations. In it's attempt to bring the Olympics to the world's most popular nation, China, the IOC ran into the problem that the Chinese government was one of the most repressive in the world. The Chinese Communist Party controlled all media and punished dissenters who spoke in favor of democracy and freedom of expression. The CCP's leaders promised the IOC that they would be more open, but as soon as the contract to host the Games was signed they ignored the IOC and cracked even more harshly than before. Chinese paramilitary forces accompanying the torch in the opening ceremony assaulted French, Britain, and US citizens, including torchbearers in their own country. They even punched Sebastian Coe, chair of the London 2012 Organizing Committee. Many foreign commentators mistakenly spread the idea that China was using the Olympics as a "Coming out to the world" and to show that China was an important member of the International Community. In reality, the CCP wanted to impress its own citizens and to show them them that the Chinese race was superior. George W. Bush was among those attending the Beijing Olympics and was in fact the first president of the United States to attend a foreign Olympics.