The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be a momentous event for the Chinese people, particularly Beijingers, the residents of Qingdao and other Olympic venue locations outside Beijing.
By 2008, the capital is expected to complete a major social and cultural transformation, making it one of world's most popular tourist destinations.
After Mayor Wang Qishan accepted the Olympic flag from the president of the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee in August 2004, the world's focus turned to Beijing. The end of the Athens Olympic ushered in a new phase of Beijing's preparations for the 2008 Games.
Beijing will stage a "high-level" Olympic Games "with distinguishing features?" in 2008, which means it will be a "showcase event" for China's modern features and enjoy active and mass participation. The eight criteria for a "high-level?Olympics Games are: first-class infrastructure and venues, high-profile cultural events, limited traffic congestion, professional media services and outstanding performances by local athletes.
In preparation for the 2008 Games, the city has adopted themes of "green Olympics igh-tech Olympics? and "people's Olympics" through which investments in the city are taking place.
Greening is the application of sustainable environmental-protection principles that involve planting, maintaining and protecting plant life. Planting projects are expected to increase the public's awareness of the importance of natural vegetation and the need to maintain and protect the natural landscape. Green Olympics is an attempt to promote this awareness and to encourage the nationwide adoption of the principles of environmental protection through the many activities of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Incorporating 387 Olympic projects, the High-tech Olympics is a citywide plan that aims to promote the development of leading technologies for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. By the end of 2004, a total of seven venues, including the National Stadium and the National Swimming Centre, had begun construction. In order to cut costs, the Beijing Municipal Government has made a number of adjustments to the construction plans of several Olympic venues. All the Olympic venues are under construction or will begin construction in 2005. All construction projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2007.
The last theme of the 2008 Olympic Games, the People's Olympics, shows how truly meaningful this opportunity is for the Chinese people. The people have demonstrated again and again their eagerness to get involved. Generous displays of affection and national pride followed the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Torch Relay in Beijing in June 2004. This further encouraged ordinary people from all over China to get involved.
On July 13, 2004, the third anniversary of Beijing's winning bid to host the Olympic Games, BOCOG launched the emblem for the 13th Paralympic Games to be held in Beijing shortly after the Summer Olympic Games.
In addition, the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting (BOB) Corporation Limited, the company formed to manage the Olympic's broadcasts, was officially launched on October 28, 2004. Four days later, on November 1, the Beijing Olympic Media Centre was launched to assist the media in reporting authoritative and regular news about Beijing's Olympic progress and activities.
BOCOG received 20,161 pieces of mail concerning the Beijing 2008 Olympic slogan, and 662 Olympic mascot designs were sent to BOCOG by December 1, 2004. In addition, a search for proposals for the best-ever opening and closing ceremonies began on March 1, 2005.
The city is to launch its volunteer recruiting programme for the 2008 Olympic Games by June 2005. It has also launched a three-year campaign to improve residents?manners to prepare them for the 2008 Olympic Games. Topics to be covered include manners in daily life and social situations, on sports grounds, at work and at school, as well as etiquette in dealing with foreign cultures.
Beijing Partners Club for the 2008 Olympics was established in February 2005. Eighteen domestic and foreign enterprises, including Coca Cola, Lenovo and Volkswagen, have joined in the club. In addition, BOCOG officially released the Beijing 2008 Sponsor Programme on March 31, 2005, including Bank of China, China Network Corporation, Sinopec, China Mobile, Volkswagen (China), Adidas and Air China.
There are more than 1,000 registered athletes in Beijing, and 1,229 new keep-fit programmes were established in 2004. BOCOG, the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, welcomes people from the world of sport and ordinary people to get involved.
Eight Criteria for a "high-level"Olympics Games
On January 14, 2005, at the Second Plenary Session of BOCOG, BOCOG President Liu Qi outlined eight criteria for a "hgh-level"Olympic Games.
High-level sports facilities and competition organizations
High-level opening ceremony and cultural events
High-level media services and favourable press comments
High-level volunteers and services
High-level transportation and logistics
High-level urban civility
High-level performances by athletes from the host country
(Source: Beijing Organizing Committee for the XXIX Olympiad)