This article deals with the Spanish media construction of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, a complex reality which television only portrays in an incomplete way despite hundreds of hours of broadcasts devoted to Olympic coverage. Most of this criticism, present in the Spanish media the weeks before the Olympics, was eclipsed by a sporting spectacle that became virtually the only star of the show throughout the celebration of the games. The audiovisual production of the opening and closing ceremonies directed the remarks made by commentators who only narrated what viewers could see. There was a lack of in-depth analysis of what viewers were watching. The media's hero-preparation process started a while before these games and was consolidated during the ceremony with their presentation to viewers. The closing ceremony became homage to the winners. Finally, private television Telecinco was slightly more critical of China and the Spanish doping case, Isabel Moreno, than the public television station TVE. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.