BEIJING 2008: A Test Of Good Luck
This August will see 12 sports competitions take place in the venues that are set to host the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. These events, which will be held under the auspices of the “Good Luck Beijing” Sport Events, range from World Junior Rowing and Wrestling Championships to a UCI BMX Supercross World Cup event to International Invitational competitions in a number of other Olympic sports. Not only of interest to sports fans, the “Good Luck Beijing” Sports Events are an ideal opportunity to test the operations for the 2008 Olympic Games, which are now only a year away.
A Summer of Sport
The 12 events taking place this August fit into a much wider programme of 26 sports events in 2007, with 16 more in 2008. An international women’s football tournament has already been held with great success, and August will see Beijing play host to the events mentioned above, as well as events in hockey, beach volleyball, canoe/kayak slalom, road cycling, baseball, archery and canoe/kayak flatwater. The programme of events will also extend to the co-host cities of Hong Kong, which will host an equestrian event, and Qingdao, where there will be an international regatta.
Getting it Right on the Day
As well as the sporting competition, these events will also play a crucial role in the success of next year’s Olympic Games. During these 42 events, the plans that have been worked on for the past six years by the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) and the local Chinese authorities will be put to the test. This will give BOCOG and its partners the opportunity to spot any potential problems that may occur and to start to find solutions before the Games begin in August 2008. An example of the type of testing that will take place is in the area of technology, where scoring systems will be tried out to ensure that they perform as expected during a competition or even to the level of air quality, where the Beijing authorities will test a million-car reduction on the streets of the Chinese capital to see how this affects the air quality for the athletes.
Key to Success
Speaking about the importance of testing, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “These events are important as they allow the organisers and all entities involved in Games operations to have a kind of 'dry run' – that is do a dress rehearsal and in so doing, identify and assess potential issues and then work towards any fine-tuning that might be needed. We have learnt through our Olympic experience that test events are key to the success of the Games.”
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 to 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.