Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006
IOC Wants To Slow Down Beijing 2008 Construction
Posted 12:57 pm ET (

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked organizers of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games to slow down construction because the new stadiums and venues would be ready too early ahead of the Opening Ceremony on August 8, 2008.

The Globe and Mail reports that Kevan Gosper, chairman of the IOC’s press commission, said Wednesday that it wouldn’t be “financially appropriate” for the venues to sit dormant so long in advance of the 29th Summer Games. The buildings would be expensive to maintain but wouldn’t be bringing in any revenue.

He said, “the Chinese are far more advanced in their preparations than anything I’ve seen in all my years with the Olympics”.

There are 31 competition venues for the 2008 Games, and 11 are being built from scratch, including the main stadium and the main aquatics centre. The rest are existing facilities. Eleven have been renovated and nine have been refurbished.

Liu Qi, president of Beijing 2008 said, “now the construction of all the new Olympic venues is in full swing”.

Construction on most of the new venues began in 2003.

One of the stadiums is finished and has had a dry run. The Fengtai softball field staged the women’s fast-pitch world championship recently.

Games organizers hope to hold another 42 test events in the next two years to work out the logistical bugs before the Olympics open.

A block for apartment towers for 16,000 athletes, the main press and broadcasting centres, and two hotels are also being built near the two stadiums.

BOCOG official Zhang Jingin said, “the whole city of Beijing is undergoing enormous change. There are still a lot of details to be defined but we are getting closer. I hope in 2008 there will be less construction and more green”.

Personally, I think it's better that the stadiums are completed early. I believe that the Chinese government will still recoup some of the money from the test events. Besides, there are additional problems that the Chinese has to deal with to make the Olympics a success. For example, the pollution issue and the building of other infrastrutures to accomodate the games' needs.


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