The many challenges of the Beijing Olympics

There are 28 sports on the Olympic Games programme for 2008 and all of the venues are under construction. These sports will feature 38 disciplines with a total of 302 events spread over 18-days of competition involving 623 sessions.

While no one doubts the capacity of the Chinese to complete the many projects related to the Games, it must have been something of a major let-down to have hosted NOCs from around the world and not allow them to see more than a mere three or four venues firsthand. For the most part the NOCs were shown the designs of the various venues under construction in a classroom setting and then had them pointed out along the bus-tour that should have taken them to view all of them. The designs are all extremely innovative and like much of the rest of the preparations for the Games of 2008 are intended to show the world China's readiness to stand tall amongst the leading nations of the world in every aspect of life.

From all indications the venues for the competitions in the Beijing Olympics would be the best ever seen at this level of sporting competition. The highlight of the venues would easily be "The Bird's Nest" the name being given to the stadium that will feature the Opening and Closing ceremonies and the athletics competition.

Given the work ethic of the Chinese the completion of the venues well ahead of schedule is not a major challenge. What is a challenge, however, is the fact that some events are not being held in the city of Beijing. Sailing will be held in Qingdao while Equestrian is scheduled for Hong Kong. In both instances the BOCOG insists that it will provide transportation for all participants from the aforementioned venues to be in Beijing with the rest of the Olympic family for both the Opening and Closing ceremonies, thereby allowing them to feel that they are fully integrated in the Games and its spirit.