The capital as well as one of the largest cities in the People’s Republic of China, Beijing serves as the cultural, political, educational, economic, and scientific center of the nation. Located in the country’s north-east corner, Beijing boasts of a diverse range of attractions, from magnificent palaces, temples, and historic monuments to interesting museums, incredible parks and gardens.
Just few to name are Forbidden City, The Great Wall, Summer Palace, Ming Tomb, Chinese History Museum, Chinese Science and Technology Museum, Chinese Military Museum, Yanhuang Art Museum, Temple of Azure Clouds, Wofo Temple, Yonghegong Lamasery, Big Bell Temple, and Ox Street Mosque. Further, people touring the place can also engage in a variety of recreational as well as fun-filled activities such as kite flying, martial arts, ice skating, and cycling. Above all, Beijing has also been chosen as the venue to host 2008 Summer Olympics, as a result of International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) exhaustive ballot.
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially referred to as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad or the 29th Olympic Games, will fall on August 8, 2008 and would last till August 24, 2008. The Summer Olympic Games, otherwise known as the Games of the Olympiad, is an international sport event that is held once in four years. It is conducted by the International Olympic Committee.
Majority of the games would be held at the city’s Beijing National Stadium. Further, both the opening and closing ceremonies would be held at there. In deed, the Beijing National Stadium would be the major field as well as track stadium. Other venues that have been chosen to conduct Olympic events include National Indoor Stadium, Wukesong Indoor Stadium, Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium, Ying Tung Natatorium, and Olympic Green Convention Centre.
It is estimated that about 11000 competitors would take part in the 2008 Summer Olympics events. Almost competitors from almost every country take part in the events such as, Afghanistan, Antigua, Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Comoros, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Denmark, Arab Republic of Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Korea Democratic People Republic, Laos, Madagascar, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Rhodesia, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, and Zambia.
Earlier, the summer Olympic Games consisted of only 40 to 45 events. But, now it has been expected that there would be more than 300 events for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Most prominent among the events that form part of the 2008 Summer Olympics are swimming, football, handball, cycling, volley ball, mountain biking, wrestling, judo, weightlifting, tennis, baseball, rowing, canoeing, slalom racing, fencing and shooting, kayaking, field hockey, equestrian, softball, triathlon, water polo, and synchronized swimming.
The 2008 Summer Olympics’ official mascot is Fuwa, which in turn stands as a symbol of peace and friendship. Fuwa has been primarily designed to convey playful qualities of five small children, who in turn form a close circle of friends. Fuwa is also an embodiment of five natural characteristics of four most popular animals of the country, such as, the Tibetan Antelope, the Fish, the Swallow, and the Panda.
The Olympic flame is also represented in Fuwa. In other words, Fuwa represents the five important elements of the nature, such as, the earth, the sky, sea, forest, and fire. Included in the Fuwa are Beibei, representing the fish; Yingying, which stands for the Tibetan Antelope; Nini – the Swallow; Jingjing, which represents the Panda; and above all, Huanhuan, representing the Olympic Flame. Above all, the Fuwa is the representation of aspiration as well as dream of people from all parts of the country.
The capital city has taken all steps to prepare and host the 29th Summer Olympic events as well as the millions of spectators and sports enthusiasts. As a part of this, majority of travel industries have also taken steps to make the 2008 Summer Olympics events eventful. Some of the hotels even offer special packages for those touring the place, especially to spectacle this event. These packages mostly include accommodation, dining, transportation to and fro events, gift package, city sightseeing tours, and excellent travel as well as concierge services. Apart from these, there are also provide special celebrations in connection with the 2008 Summer Olympics.
West Papua – The secret war in Asia
The forgotten land of West Papua is under brutal Indonesian military occupation. Its tribal people are being slaughtered, and their unique environment destroyed. But the world is doing nothing to stop it. In 1963, in violation of international law, Indonesia occupied and colonised the West Papuan homeland in the western part of New Guinea. Since that tragic event the West Papuans are asking for a fair referendum about their independence. At least 100.000 indigenous people lost their lives in this secret war.