The Games Of The XXIX Olympiad   

by Pool Builders on 10-05-2007 in Articles

The Games of the XXIX Olympiad are now less than a year away, with the opening ceremonies scheduled to begin in the host city of Beijing, China on August 8, 2008. The Olympic games will be held between August 8, 2008 and August 24, 2008 in Beijing and surrounding cities. The games will feature three hundred two events covering twenty eight sports.

Nine new Olympic events are scheduled to be held in 2008. There will be two new events in cycling, and women will compete in the 3000m steeplechase for the first time. In addition, marathon swimming events for men and women, will be added to the swimming competition. Team events in table tennis will replace the doubles events.

Since December, 2003, Beijing has been preparing for the arrival of the Olympic games with the construction of thirty one venues. The most prominent venues are the Beijing National Stadium and Beijing National Aquatics Centre. Other important venues include the Olympic Green Convention Centre, Olympic Green, Beijing National Indoor Stadium, and Beijing Wukesong Cultural And Sports Center.

The opening and closing ceremonies and some of the athletic events (including soccer) will be held in the newly constructed Beijing National Stadium which is also known as "The Birds Nest". The nickname for the structure is due to its design which appears to be a birds nest sitting on top of a concrete structure. The stadium will seat over eighty thousand people for the games and ceremonies.

The Beijing National Aquatics Centre is also known as the "Water Cube." The "Water Cube" will be the venue for swimming and diving for the Games. The Beijing National Aquatics Center is an award winning venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. It was recognized by Popular Science in 2006, for " Best of What's New in Engineering", and in 2004 it achieved an award for "Most Accomplished Work (Atmosphere section) " by Venice Biennale.

The structure of the Water Cube is based on unique, lightweight, construction from panels of a form of Teflon, that allows more light and heat penetration than glass and transforms the building into an energy-efficient greenhouse-like environment. Indeed, solar energy will also be used to heat the swimming pools, which are designed to reuse double-filtered, backwashed pool water that's usually dumped as waste.

Excess rainwater will also be collected and stored in subterranean tanks and used to fill the pools. The Centre is shaped like a square box with interior designs that are carved out of a cluster of foam bubbles. The overall design makes the Centre appear like a cube of water bubbles.

In addition to the venues, the environment will certainly be a factor in the 2008 Olympic Games. The air pollution in China is at least two to three times higher than what is deemed safe by the World Heath Organization. Endurance sports may see a decline in overall performance due to air pollution and the August heat in Beijing. In fact, athletes from several countries already have indicated that they will arrive immediately prior to the games to limit their exposure to the negative air quality in Beijing.

Politics always plays a role in the Olympic Games, and 2008 will not be an exception especially since China is the host country. Already, there are several groups that are making news protesting Chinese violations of human rights and free speech as follows:

"Human Rights Watch "and "Amnesty International" both have released reports that denounce China as failing to honor its Olympic obligations on human rights.

"The Committee to Protect Journalists" said China was still impeding foreign journalists and jailing domestic ones, despite promises to allow reporting.

"Reporters Without Borders" managed to stage a protest in Beijing, only to see the police briefly detain the foreign journalists covering it.

With human rights and free speech problematic issues for China, these type of protests will only grow stronger as the Olympic Games approach.

The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China are destined to have the excitement of world class summer sports competition, the showmanship of the opening and closing ceremonies, award winning venues, new competitive Olympic events, human rights politics, and the conflict between man and his environment.

The Olympic torch arrives at Beijing National Stadium on August 8, 2008. Mark that date on your calendar, because the Games of the XXIX Olympiad may well be a show you don't want to miss.

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