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08 Aug 2008
IOC News , Beijing 2008

Beijing has Olympic Fever

Today, the excitement in China’s capital city is palpable and visible. Chinese flags, Olympic banners and the five Fuwa mascots of the Beijing Games can be seen everywhere. New trees, fresh flowers and plants add bright dots of colour to the freshly paved roads, evoking a feeling of the grand historical festivals that have been a part of China’s culture for thousands of years.
Old meets new
Around the city’s famous landmarks, from the Summer Palace to the Forbidden City, foreign and Chinese tourists alike are celebrating the meeting of centuries-old sites with the new enthusiasm that the Games have brought to the city. In Tiananmen Square, thousands of people have gathered to take pictures with the Olympic displays in the centre. Such displays, sculptures and other Olympic works of art can be found throughout the city, from tourist attractions to malls and parks.
Excitement in the air
And from dawn until dusk, you can find crowds of people milling about the city in all of its open spaces, together soaking up the excitement that can almost be felt in the air. Visitors can take their pick of the traditional — bustling night markets offering culinary delights — or the modern — Beijing offers a lively nightlife scene. The Olympic spirit is bringing together citizens from all parts of the world in the second largest city in the most populous nation on earth to celebrate friendship, excellence and respect.
A spotlight on China
What does all of this mean? While no one can definitively say, perhaps President Rogge put it best, “I believe the spotlight on China will help the world to understand China, and it will also help China to understand the world.” Let the Games begin!
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