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.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The National Indoor Stadium

This is used for Artistic Gymnastics, trampoline and handball events. Capacity: 19000.


The Bidding Video

If I am not wrong, it's directed by Zhang Yimou (张艺谋)of Red Lanterns Rising.

Many Chinese hated it! I thought it's beautiful!


The song from Beijing 2008

I can't BELIEVE that the official song for the Beijing Olympics is out! This song is called "Open up your Dreams" sang by Jane Zhang or 张靓颖。She's the second runner up for the 2005 Super Girl (超女)competition.

I seriously think she has a bright future ahead. She also sang the title song for the Chinese movie Banquet (夜宴)to perfection!


Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Official Promotional Video

See the making of the Dancing Man!


Promotion video of Slogan for the beijing 2008 Olympic games

I realised I've not commented on the slogan of the beijing 2008 games!

It's "One World, One Dream" (同一个世界,同一个梦想)


Beijing 2008 Olympic Games - 5 Rings


The CCTV Headquarters

Ain't this a cool building? :) It's about 245m and serves as the new headquarters of the powerful State broadcasting division. The Chinese really like giant TVs yeah!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Beijing to invest 59.5 bln USD in Olympics infrastructure

"China's capital will invest an estimated 470 billion yuan (59.5 billion U.S. dollars) in infrastructure in the 2006-2010 period. The money will be spent on 2,400 construction and upgrading projects, according to a master plan unveiled on Sunday by the city's development and reform commission.

Projects to ease city traffic, improve energy and water supply and better the city environment will be completed before 2008 when Beijing hosts the Olympics, said Chai Xiaozhong, deputy head of the commission.

By 2008, Beijing will have a hyper-modern international air service hub. Upgrading of the current international airport will be completed and work will have begun on the city's second international airport. The Capital Airport hub will be able to process 60 million passengers a year, according to the plan.

In the next five years, Beijing will upgrade subway lines 1 and 2, and build lines 5 and 10, as well as a special subway leading to the Olympic village and gymnasiums. A light-rail track will also be laid to the airport. Intervals between subway train services will be shortened to 150 seconds. The total length of the city's subway and light rail network will reach 270 kilometers, and high-grade highways in the city center will stretch 280 kilometers. It will take 50 minutes at most to commute to areas within the city's fifth ring road.

Beijing will also expand parking lots to ensure a parking place for each motor vehicle in the five-year period. Official statistics show that Beijing now has approximately 2.8 million motor vehicles but only 1.4-1.5 million parking places.

By 2008, the Taiyanggong gas-firing thermal power plant will have been built and heating pipes laid for the Olympic gymnasiums and surrounding areas. Electricity transmission projects for the areas will be completed, and construction will be revved up on the Beijing section of the south-to-north water diversion program. At the end of 2007, the section will be ready for water supply.

Beijing will clean up its rivers and lakes and improve water quality. Two water recycling plants will also be built. In 2010, annual consumption of natural gas in the capital will reach seven billion cubic meters.


Hmm.... just for comparison, Singapore has a US$125 billion GDP this year. The figures are really scary.

I wonder if this will affect the already polluted environment in Beijing. However, it's still very exciting to see an ancient capital revitalised!


Out of this world!
The Water Cube Reloaded!

originally posted in skyscrapercity by se9.


The 2008 Olympics Park

The picture below is taken from Google Earth and shows the "current" state of construction of the sports venues. Quite cool yah! Google Earth's powerful!

By the way, the coordinates are 39'59'29.47 N 116'23'17 07 E.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wukesong Cultural and Sports Centre - the Giant TV

"In a park measuring 0.7 by 0.7 kilometers, ten sports facilities will be built. One of the most spectacular is the basketball hall with 18,000 seats in a 70-meter tall cube with a footprint measuring 130 by 130 meters. The ceiling covering the stadium is suspended from above by twelve steel structures resembling basketball baskets. Above this are commercial and conference levels covering a surface area of 65,000 square meters.

The outer walls are designed as huge liquid crystal display screens. They allow hundreds of thousands of spectators to follow the events inside the stadium from outside. The architecture is ahead of the current state of the art of audiovisual technology, but by the time construction of the stadium starts, developments for such oversize displays are expected to have matured. The project will be the world’s biggest TV set. This, too, won the hearts of the Beijing team of experts."

- taken from EuropaConcorsi

By the way, wukesong (五棵松)literally means Five Pine Trees. Does anyone knows why?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The National Aquatic Stadium - Water Cube

This is BY FAR my favourite sport architecture. I really look forward to it being completed!

This is how it looks as of 26th Sep 2006!

The material of the outer layer of the Water Cube is ETFE (Ethylene TetrafluoroEthylene). The same material as the Allianz Arena Stadium in Germany used in World Cup 2000. It will be the biggest ETFE clad structure in the world!


The Beijing National Stadium - Bird Nest

Architect: Herzog & de Meuron
Capacity:100000 (during the games)
80000 (after the games)
Construction Cost:$3.5 billion yuan (USD$422 million)

As at 4th Oct 2006


The Official Mascot of the Beijing Games

"Like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their color and inspiration, Fuwa will serve as the Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and peace -- and blessings from China -- to children all over the world.

Designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends, Fuwa also embody the natural characteristics of four of China's most popular animals -- the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow--and the Olympic Flame.

Each of Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name--a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow.

When you put their names together -- Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni -- they say "Welcome to Beijing," offering a warm invitation that reflects the mission of Fuwa as young ambassadors for the Olympic Games.

Fuwa also embody both the landscape and the dreams and aspirations of people from every part of the vast country of China. In their origins and their headpieces, you can see the five elements of nature -- the sea, forest, fire, earth and sky -- all stylistic rendered in ways that represent the deep traditional influences of Chinese folk art and ornamentation. "

- from

Personally, I think they look Chinese and stop at there...

These could have been the Olympics National Stadium.

Which one do you like? Pictures taken from B11 is the winner design.















The Running Man

The emblem of the Games is called "The Dancing Man". Quite honestly, it really looks like a movement from some Chinese folk dances!

Its design is inspired from the Chinese word 京 (pronounce as "jing1"), which means capital or Beijing. Traditionally, Chinese use a single chinese character to represent each of its major provinces and municipality. For example, Shanghai is known as 沪 and Guangzhou is known as 粤.

The emblem also resembles a chinese seal. Seals are traditionally used as signatures for documents, calligraphy and paintings (see the 2 red stamps on the painting). Hence, it also signifies that Chinese has sealed her mark as a host for the games.

Actually, one funny thing about chinese paintings is that very famous and valuable paintings usually have a lot of seals stamped onto it everywhere. Quite honestly, I find that an eye sore! But the reason why it is worth much more with more seal stamps is because those seals belong to very powerful statemen and rulers. It signify that they have seen the paintings and like it very much!

Well, if only they have the sense to stamp in an orderly and discrete manner!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Start of the Countdown

On 13th Jul 2001, Beijing was elected as the host city for the XXIX Olympics during the 102th IOC Meeting in Moscow! This is the beginning of our journey to Beijing on 08-08-2008 at 8:08pm.

2008 Summer Olympics bidding results

CityNOCRound 1Round 2
BeijingFlag of People's Republic of China China4456
TorontoFlag of Canada Canada2022
ParisFlag of France France1518
IstanbulFlag of Turkey Turkey179
OsakaFlag of Japan Japan6-

source: wikipedia

This is the second time that Beijing is bidding for the rights to host the event. In 1993, it lost to Sydney in the final round of votes despite leading all the way. I remember the papers lamblasting the West for ganging together "against" China.

A few years later, I discussed this with my Chinese friends. Surprisingly, they said that it's actually better for China when they lost to Sydney! This is because such events require huge some of money and China is better off using the resources to develop its large poor interior and keep inflation in check.

Anyway, 8 is considered the most auspicious number for Chinese. The date they have chosen couldn't be more prosperous then! ;-)

Just a side note, Paris has lost 2 consecutive bids for the Olympics. Poor French! They just can't win the English speaking world.