Jump to content

Beijing 2008 Legacy


paul

Recommended Posts

No idea where to post this, but I had not seen this.

Olympic5.jpg

It kinds looks dumb just standing there by itself. For anyone (well, in China there are probably some 450 million who didn't watch the Opening) who didn't see the Opening, there is NO context. That's the problem with someone so connected to the story-telling power of the moment that when you remove the elements from the show, they are like "huh?" :blink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny you say that, I just came a cross an article describing how all around Beijing outside the Stadium it was difficult to view the opening ceremony live because all the giant monitors etc that had been used all around the city in the lead up to the games were left dark for the opening due to security concerns. It sounded like there was a sort of government imposed blackout around town, and many Beijingers were not able to see the live opening. I can't find that article but here is a link to an interesting list of Chinese internet reactions to the ceremony. And if you scroll down after the jump there are some spectacular pictures.

Chinese Internet Reacts to Opening Cerimony-EastSouthWestNorth

20080808_26.jpg

(I wonder if the 6 blocks/people out of line in the top of this formation got in trouble?)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Well, one person in China felt that he was used for propaganda purposes.

Only one?

Seriously, though, a sad story. And to think he's now under virtual house arrest in Beijing after doing so much to create the imagery that we associate so much with the 2008 games, the Birds Nest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Only one?

Seriously, though, a sad story. And to think he's now under virtual house arrest in Beijing after doing so much to create the imagery that we associate so much with the 2008 games, the Birds Nest.

I'm sure there are others, but you know how some things work in China. Stability first and foremost. Ai is the most vocal one so far because he can. As for the other people with similar situations, they could be either silenced, kept watched by the authorities or worse. It is sad indeed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do I get the feeling the Beijing Olympics will end up being just like Athens to the IOC, yet another 'See, we TOLD you so!'

I blame JAS and his interference. From Los Angeles through to Sydney, the IOC seemingly could do no wrong with their host cities. True, there were the torch firebombings and judging controveries in Seoul, transportation issues in Atlanta and a few boycotts here and there, but for nearly 16 years, the IOC was doing great.

Then came the Salt Lake City bid scandle. Then the woefully underprepared Greeks whose hubris ended up putting them in a very deep financial hole. Then the Chinese who swore up and down they'd behave if they only got the Games, then once the contracts were signed seemed content to stick their fingers in their ears every time the IOC complained, be it with the torch relay protests, controversies over the atheletes (Chinese gymnatics women's team, I'm looking in your direction) and the overall closed feel of the games.... if JAS had done any good for the Games in 16 years, it was virtually all wiped away by the controversies that followed, long after he was gone.

In the end, it's really sad that something as precious as the Olympics should be so tarnished.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Beijing grapples with Games legacy four years on

(Reuters) - Four years after Beijing hosted a spectacular summer Olympics, China's bustling capital sees vastly improved public transport and infrastructure, but many of the venues built for the event languish unloved, underused and draining public finances.

The jewels in the crown were two architecturally-stunning buildings -- the main "Bird's Nest" stadium and the "Water Cube" aquatics centre, described by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge as "beautiful" and "unprecedented" venues.

"The successful hosting of the Olympics was not only splendid for Chinese sports, it ... excited the passion of one billion people about sport," China's sports minister Liu Peng was cited as saying by state media last year, summing up the Games legacy for Beijing.

Yet today both places are better known for the steady stream of curious tourists they attract -- some 4.61 million visitors in 2011 -- rather than as locations for major sporting events.

While the Bird's Nest does host the odd football match or track and field competition, it has also been the site of what was billed as China's first rodeo, a "winter wonderland" theme park, and concerts.

The stadium's management estimates that at the current rate, it will take some three decades to recoup the 3 billion yuan ($480 million) cost of building it.

The neighbouring Water Cube lost an estimated 11 million yuan last year, even with a state subsidy and revenue from an attached water park built after the Olympics to capitalise on its fame.

"The cost for building Olympic venues was substantial. But the organisers failed to consider overall how to use the venues after the Olympics when building these sites or even bidding for the Olympics," said Yan Qiang, chief sports editor of NetEase Media Group.

"For sports venues, the more frequently they are used, the longer they will last, the better protection they will receive, and society will benefit that much more," Yan added. "I think Beijing has a severe shortage in this regards."

TOTAL ABANDONMENT

Other venues have fared even worse than the Bird's Nest or Water Cube.

The kayaking venue sits all but abandoned, what water remaining in it being sucked up by a large pipe to quench a surrounding park in the midst of a typically parched Beijing spring, during a recent visit by a Reuters journalist.

The rowing venue, located in a remote and hard to reach northeastern suburb, now hosts mostly small dinghys.

Neither sport is well-known in China, which partly explains the almost total abandonment.

Some sites, such as for table tennis and wrestling, were built inside universities.

"They were given these huge venues ... and they had no event management experience, and they weren't allowed to get any before the Olympic Games," said Susan Brownell, professor of anthropology and expert on Chinese sports at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

"After the Games were over they were learning from scratch in terms of how to manage an event," she added.

Plus, in Communist Party-controlled China, there is the added concern over large crowds in the current tense run-up to a once-in-a-decade handover of power for the country's top leadership, which will happen in the autumn.

"In order to hold a major sports event you have to bring thousands of people together, and that's a public assembly. In the current political atmosphere there's just a lot of fear of large public assemblies," Brownell said.

Even the trumpeted closing of polluting factories to improve Beijing's notoriously poor air has only had a limited effect and the city is still regularly cloaked in a think pall of choking smog.

Where once Chinese swelled with pride at the hosting of the Olympics, especially after the country topped the gold medal table in 2008, some now criticise the venues for their wastefulness.

"I think the building materials are very expensive and wasteful," said tourist Li Fang.

The Water Cube "changes water everyday, which is a huge waste of water resources. It also consumes lots of electricity when the lights are on. I think it's better to devote these resources to people's daily life. These expenses are totally unnecessary", the 21-year-old added.

Reuters

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Beijing Olympics Provides Rare Window into Air Pollution’s Effect on Health

A team of researchers has taken advantage of the unique circumstances surrounding the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China to examine the link between air pollution and health.

The result of their study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows a direct correlation between pollution levels and specific physiological changes that increase risk for cardiovascular disease.

“This study clearly shows that a large scale intervention to reduce air pollution can have an immediate positive effect on health,” said David Q. Rich, Sc.D., M.P.H., first author of the study and an epidemiologist with the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Community and Preventive Medicine. “As air quality improved during the games in Beijing, markers of key biological pathways associated with cardiovascular disease also improved, demonstrating that – even in healthy young Beijing residents – there are specific mechanistic links between air pollution and cardiovascular health.”

In the months leading up to and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics (August 8-24) and Paralympics (September 6-17), the Chinese government went to extraordinary lengths to improve the city’s chronic and notoriously poor air quality. This included an aggressive program to curtail traffic and reduce emissions by implementing strict restrictions on automobile and truck use, closing factories, halting construction projects, spraying roads with water to reduce dust, and seeding clouds to induce rain fall. These controls – which were relaxed upon completion of the games – resulted in a significant decrease in the particles and gases associated with air pollution for a period immediately before and during the Olympic games, including a 60 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide, a 48 percent reduction in carbon monoxide, and a 43 percent reduction in nitrogen dioxide.

“Beijing is one of the most polluted cities in the world, and the Chinese government had proposed to reduce pollution levels to be comparable to other previous Olympic host cities,” said Junfeng (Jim) Zhang, Ph.D., co-author of the study and a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “We wanted to take advantage of such a huge intervention and look at what happens to people biologically.”

The study specifically examined the relationship between pollution levels and markers of a range of biological mechanisms related to cardiovascular health. The authors measured blood pressure, heart rate, and markers of inflammation and blood coagulation – or clotting – before, during, and after the games in 125 healthy male and female medical residents of Peking University First Hospital in central Beijing. Previous studies have linked some of these measures with the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.

The authors found that the markers used in the study essentially mirrored pollution changes – improving as anti-pollution controls were implemented and rebounding once the air pollution controls were relaxed. For example, two key indicators of blood coagulation – von Willebrand factor and soluble P-selectin concentrations – were reduced by 13 and 34 percent respectively during the games. After the games, these two indicators returned to near pre-Olympic levels. The study also saw similar, but not statistically significant, patterns of change in blood pressure and white blood cell count during the period of pollution controls.

The authors also point out that while the study was conducted with young and healthy participants the benefits in terms of the risk reduction associated with lower pollution levels may be even greater for older and more vulnerable individuals.

Additional co-authors of the study include: Howard Kipen, M.D., M.P.H., Pamela Ohman-Strickland, Ph.D., Ping Zhu, M.D., Claire Philipp, M.D., Shou-En Lu, Ph.D., Jian Tong, M.S., and Scott R. Diehl, Ph.D. with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Wei Huang, Sc.D., Guangfa Wang, M.D., Yuedan Wang, M.D., Min Hu, Ph.D., and Tong Zhu, Ph.D. with Peking University in Beijing, and Jincheng Gong, Ph.D. and Duncan Thomas, Ph.D. with the University of Southern California. The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Health Effects Institute, the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, and the Beijing Council of Science and Technology.

http://www.healthcan...ect-Health.html

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Well, according to these pictures, I guess that Beijing 2008 was hyped too much.

Abandoned kayaking venue:

6.jpg

Abandoned beach volleyball venue:

1.jpg

I am still looking at other possible situations, like this, only 4 years after the fact.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, according to these pictures, I guess that Beijing 2008 was hyped too much.

Abandoned kayaking venue:

6.jpg

Abandoned beach volleyball venue:

1.jpg

I am still looking at other possible situations, like this, only 4 years after the fact.

:( What a shame. Hope London will not end up like this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if my post wasn't enough to convince people, then how about this news piece? It comes from the New Tang Dynasty television news (web version) called "Forbidden News." Forbidden because its news exposes the Chinese Communist Party's abuse of power to get what it wants; not the people. Therefore, the main Chinese news media do not share the "true news" to the Chinese and interested people around the world. This piece talks about the "usual corruption", in bringing and staging the 2008 Olympic Games. However, this news comes from a Falun Gong entity that is banned in China.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And yet people are still whining because London venues are not enough big and spectacular. I guess Seb Coe and friends learned big lessons from Beijing, thus working on a much better legacy plan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...