I have been traveling in China for about three months already, and throughout the trip I have been curious to know how China is preparing for the 2008 Olympic Games, and specifically – Is the construction of the main stadium already taking place?
So I grabbed Beijing map, and headed north to the area marked as “Olympic Park (In Planning)”.
Well… no signs of a big stadium construction. Instead, I get controversial sights of demolishing traditional neighborhoods and way of life.
Are these the people who pay the price of hosting the Olympic Games?
and here are the notorious “demolish” (拆 chāi) characters
Endless wide roads leading to new development
For residents waiting to follow a dream?
I realize I have to walk back south to reach the construction area. Cranes appear at the distance and workers seem roaming around. I’m probably on the right direction…
and that… sight on the background… is it THE stadium…?
With a big smile I greet the guard at the entrance. Here I am, inside the construction site of the Beijing Olympic stadium!
Time to go inside the stadium. My sandals and shorts are a safety violation already. At least I’ll get a helmet. I enter one of the workers’ resting areas and ask to borrow a helmet. All set!
Now I imagine myself joining one of the delegations entering the stadium on the opening ceremony, or finishing the Marathon run!
The strange thing is that the stadium looks rather… small! Could it not be the main stadium?
I decide to circle the place and count steps to measure the circumference. It should be around 400 meters…
The stadium is 400 meters long, I am at the right place, time to take a picture of the supreme supervisor
Three years to go…