1. State Leaders Give Instruction to Preparation for the Olympics
At a welcome-home meeting with the Chinese sports delegation to the Athens Olympic Games on September 2, 2004, President Hu Jintao urged the organizers of the Beijing Olympics to learn from the successful experiences of Athens so as to find new ideas and perfect the measures to do a good job in preparation for the Olympics. He asked Beijing to strive to stage a high standard Olympic Games.
On November 10, 2004, the State Council held a meeting to discuss issues regarding preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games. The meeting decided to implement the ideology of people-oriented and sustainable development in the preparation for the Olympic Games and carry through the ideas of “Green Olympics”, “People’s Olympics” and “High-Tech Olympics”. The meeting asked the organizers to cut the costs and guarantee the quality and completion on schedule of all construction projects related to the Olympic Games. It requires the organizers to combine the Olympic preparation work with urban development, environment protection and the advance of ideological wealth. Meanwhile, the meeting emphasized closer cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other international sports federations in preparation for the 2008 Games. The meeting called for all government departments and various sections of the society to earnestly support and actively participate in the preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games.
2. BOCOG Holds First Plenary Session
BOCOG held its first plenary meeting in Beijing on January 15, 2004. The meeting noted that the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the 29th Olympiad (BOCOG) had done a substantial and efficient job since its establishment in 2002. It has completed the first phase of work on time and entered a stage of full-scale construction for the Olympic Games. The meeting reiterated the organizers’ determination to stage a high standard Olympic Games in 2008.
3. Beijing Mayor Takes Over Olympic Flag, Initiates Beijing Olympiad
At the closing ceremony of the Athens Olympic Games on August 29, 2004, Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan took over the Olympic Flag from IOC President Jacques Rogge, marking the beginning of the Beijing Olympiad. An eight-minute show of BOCOG was also staged at the ceremony, demonstrating the charm and passion of Beijing, China.
Later, at the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Athens, a Vice-Mayor of Beijing took over the flag from President of the International Paralympic Committee on September 29, 2004.
4. Beijing Relays Torch for the Athens Olympiad
The Olympic flame for the Athens Olympiad arrived in Beijing on June 8, 2004 and was received by a huge gathering of supporters at the Great Wall. The event was historic for many reasons – not in the least that it was the first time ever for the Olympic flame to land in China.
On the June 9, 2004, the Olympic flame made a massive journey across the city – beginning in Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing and ending up at the Summer Palace on the outskirts of Beijing. A total of 148 people, with their ages ranging from 14 to 73, shared the opportunity of carrying the torch in a relay across town. The nine-hour relay covered a distance of 55.7 kilometers, passing by some of the most attractive landmarks in the city. Millions of people gathered along the route to catch a glimpse of the Olympic flame, while billions more watched the great event unfold on TV.
5. Second Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival, Logo of Beijing Paralympics
The second Beijing 2008 Olympic Cultural Festival opened on the International Olympic Day, which fell on June 23, 2004, and concluded on July 13, marking the third anniversary of Beijing winning the bid to host the Olympic Games. The cultural festival consisted of such activities as art performance, exhibitions, forums, public cultural and sports gatherings, the “Citizen Day” and gala on the Olympic square. More than one million Beijing citizens participated in the event.
The unveiling of the logo of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games was one of the major activities of the cultural festival. At the closing ceremony of the cultural festival held at the China Millennium Monument on the evening of July 13, 2004, the organizers launched the logo of the 13th Paralympic Games to be held in the city after the Beijing Olympic Games. Beijing vows to achieve excellence in staging both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
6. Selection of Beijing Olympic Partners Makes Substantial Progress
On June 10, 2004, BOCOG announced in Beijing that Volkswagen Group China had become the official automobile partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. By the end of 2004, BOCOG had signed six partnership deals. In addition to the German automobile giant Volkswagen, China Mobile, China Netcom, Air China and Bank of China are among the other notable partners.
In March, Lenovo Group became one of the IOC’s global partners. Lenovo is the first Chinese enterprise ever join the IOC sponsorship circle.
7. Venue Construction Progresses Smoothly
By the end of 2004, a total of seven venues, including the National Stadium and the National Swimming Center, had begun construction. In order to cut costs, the Beijing municipal government had made a number of adjustments to the constructio plan of Olympic venues. All adjustments and modifications were implemented following negotiations with the IOC and other international sports federations (IFs). All construction projects are planned to be completed by the end of 2007.
8. Beijing Olympic TV Broadcasting Corporation Established
Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Corporation Limited was established on September 6, 2004 marking the start of Beijing Olympic TV broadcasting.
The Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Corporation Limited (or BOB) is a Chinese-foreign joint venture company. It was jointly set up BOCOG and OBS under the IOC. As the official host broadcaster of the 2008 Olympic Games, BOB will transmit international television and radio (ITVR) signals to broadcasters from all over the world. It will also build and operate the International Broadcast Center and the necessary broadcast facilities in Olympic venues, and will provide related services for rights holding broadcasters (RHs) during the Beijing Olympic Games.
9. Countdown Clock for 2008 Olympic Games
With exactly four years to go till the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a giant clock was unveiled in Tiananmen Square to mark the beginning of countdown to the Games
The clock, 14 meters high and 5.5 meters wide, operates with the precise Global Timing System (GTS). The clock is set to a deadline at exactly 8:00pm, August 8, 2008 (Beijing time), when the 2008 Olympic Games opens.
10. Beijing Olympic News Center Established
On the morning of November 1, 2004, Beijing officially launched its Olympic News Center at Huabei Hotel in northern part of the city. The Beijing Olympic News Center is jointly sponsored by the BOCOG Media and Communications Department and the Press Office of the Beijing Municipal Government. The News Center has four main responsibilities: First, offering comprehensive services for all journalists reporting Olympic-related news; Second, providing a venue for the BOCOG and Beijing Municipal Government to release information about the Beijing Olympic Games, holding news briefings and press conferences on a regular basis; Third, serving as a window for international media to obtain information about “New Beijing, Great Olympics”, offering publicity materials from BOCOG, Beijing Municipal Government and other relevant organizations; Fourth, organizing various social and cultural events to enhance communications, exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and international media.
11.BOCOG Learns from Success of Athens Olympic Games
As the Athens Olympic Games was held from August 13 to 29, 2004, a BOCOG delegation visited Athens to learn from Athens’ experience in preparing for and holding the Olympic Games. The delegation conducted study and research on a wide range of issues in Athens, including reception of foreign guests, organization of sport competitions, publicity and media services, TV broadcasting, venue construction, environment protection, marketing, technical support, identification, ticketing and security. In addition, BOCOG had sent 37 members to conduct internship with the Athens Olympic organizing committee for four months. During their work in different departments and venues under the Athens organizers, the personnel extensively studied Athens’ experience in preparing and operating the Olympic Games.
12. IOC Coordination Commission Holds 3rd Meeting in Beijing
On October 28, 2004, the IOC Coordination Commission for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games held the 3rd meeting in Beijing. At the meeting, IOC officials and experts discussed with BOCOG on such issues as venue construction, marketing, media operation, sport competitions, transport, technology, service, Olympic image and landscapes, publicity and information service. Hein Verbruggen, president of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, made positive comments on BOCOG’s work in preparing for the Beijing Olympics.