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IOC's Olympic Solidarity Support Badminton's 'Road to Beijing'

Since Beijing won its bid for the 2008 Olympics Games, people throughout the world have all been riveting their attention on China. They have their focus on whether or not and how China is going to fulfil its promises made and the pledge "to host the best ever Olympiad in the history of Olympic Games".

Topnotch work has been done certainly in the way Beijing has promised. Last July, just a year's time went by, Beijing has been set on a mass of first-rate architecture schemes sought for an Olympic Park as the world largest and Wukesong Culture and Sports Center to be built. With these were also projected many other infrastructure projects as going in for communications, traffic and environment construction. Significant are Hein Verbvuggen's high commendations when he spoke of Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee's first-rate work on behalf of the IOC Coordination Commission out for a successful Beijing 2008 Olympiad. "We are firmly convinced Beijing 2008 Olympic Organizing Committee will realize their goals projected for all preparatory work has been well organized and done as scheduled," he said.

World oriented, schemes shortlisted
Essential for Beijing to host its 2008 Olympic Games are 14 large Olympic venues to be built on a total of 1135 hectares of land including a State Stadium, a State Gym, a State Swimming Center and Olympic Village. With these are also a basketball court, a provisional baseball court and a softball field alongside Wukesong Culture and Sports Center. Moreover, whether these can be launched and built under the principles of openness and complete equity and justice focuses the attention of people in China and abroad.

However, Beijing has by its work brought no disappointment to people throughout the world. It has by its open first-rate work following international rules won wide praise around the world. Last March, Beijing 2008 Olympic Organizing Committee formally sought for architectural design schemes for two Olympic venues on a world scale. April 22, over 100 architectural designing institutions from home and abroad gathered in Beijing starting on a spot survey in Beijing. July 22 saw 90 designs from 15 countries and regions including the US, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, Greek, Russia, the UK, Italy and China's Taiwan and Hong Kong. As was told, 87 schemes went into appraisal process. July 3, appraisal work formally started by a panel formed of 13 world-renowned experts including 7 from abroad and 6 home along with representatives from the 29th Olympiad Organization Commission, professionals, experts and architects with expertise on the line of organizing Olympic Games. July 14, results of appraisal were made public, 13 schemes were shortlisted and put on the award list. Of these, China Olympics Park by its design won the first-class prize along with 2 second-class and 5 A-grade prizes. Wukesong Culture Physics Center being listed as first-class grader still finds no winner for the time being. Two have been credited with second-class prize and 3 A-graders.

The whole Olympic architecture scheme soliciting drive had been carried out in a most transparent way and put strictly under the surveillance of Beijing Notarization Office to the satisfaction of the general public in China and abroad. Deputy Director Huang Yan with Beijing Planning Committee said, "It was just a start. In the coming 6 years, all things will be done under the principle of openness and complete equity and justice. This principle will not only apply to the planning and construction of Olympic venues but also to all other installation construction."

Public oriented and chosen
Olympic Games are events that concern not only athletes as those in the sports field but also the whole humankind. The planning and construction of Olympic Games require not only the wisdom of experts but also a wide participation of people. Following appraisal by experts, July 16, Beijing further put on display 87 choice planning schemes at Beijing International Convention Center over a time of two weeks and to a general vote by people to decide on those most to their liking.

But a wide participation by people had been far from being expected by related watchdogs in Beijing. Though the displays lasted merely two weeks and on a succession of rainy days people still queued up on a long 100-meter line under rain waiting their turn for a ticket to have a personal look at the design schemes on display. People with expertise from various fields, students, retirees and ordinary run of city folk were found no lack on the long queue of visitors. Almost a daily average number of 4000 visitors turned up. For a too big crowd of visitors the exhibition originally set over a time to July 26 had to be postponed three days after.

As demanded, every visitor with a ticket issued by their identity card was asked to choose 20 design schemes to their liking. Every visitor seemed to have gone to great lengths and on too many second thoughts to make a choice among the schemes on the tickets they had got as in the way they had got and done their housing. Much to people's interest was a virtually similar choice made among the visitors as by the expert panel - a cooperative architectural scheme and first-class prize winner to the credit of US Sasaki in collaboration with Tianjin Huahui Engineering Architecture Designing Company Ltd. The scheme had the central line tracing the origin of Beijing done into an extended axis in design representing several thousand years' history of the Chinese nation has won high praise among the visitors. An agreed view and same choice by experts and visitors show not only a close proximity of experts to the common run of visitors but also a general raise of quality of people in identifying the schemes on display. So we should say the Olympic planning schemes as decided are virtually a general recognition by people and experts as well.

A most rare thing is that on 37 visitors' books is a long list of over 1200 visitors' names. A 9-year-old used his naive pen to leave the words, "Beijing lacks greenery, should have less square scheme but more green". A housing developer spoke of his mind, "construction and planning should have greater stress on culture". A teacher on architecture writes, "Olympic Park should have a landmark structure!" not to say others. These sagacious opinions will surely contribute to an overall planning and construction of Beijing's Olympic venues, its traffic and communications, use of water surface and environment protection. According to sources from Beijing Planning Commission, it would make a conscientious study into and absorb various constructive ideas and opinions from the visitors for a phalanx of A1 finalized comprehensive planning schemes to be used in contributing to Beijing's Olympic infrastructure construction.

Future oriented for a win-win result
Of institutions taking part in the drive for soliciting Olympic Games design schemes, a two thirds have been from abroad. Of these, the US Sasaki has turned out the biggest winner. It has not only in cooperation with a Chinese designing institution won first-class prize for its planning scheme on the Olympic Park but has also won second-class prize for its design of Wukesong Culture and Sports Center. Of 5 second-class prizes, 4 have gone to those from abroad as among those from Australia, Japan, Switzerland and the US. This represents the open unbiased stand of the host country and its attitude to do things open above board.

A no less happy thing also is Chinese designing institutions have shown their full competitive power. Of the 13 designing design schemes shortlisted about half are those by Chinese designing institutions or as works of collaboration with their foreign counterparts and these have been up to as many as 8. This points to a speedy alignment of China's designing level up to world advanced and that China has by its Olympic design schemes come on a par with their international foreign counterparts in the way a win-win situation has been created when a joint effort is made. There is an outstanding master design scheme qualified for the only first-class prize done by a US company in cooperation with its Chinese counterpart. This tells that Beijing Olympics as a "science technology Olympiad", a "Green Olympiad' and an "Olympiad of humanity" has been rooted deep in the soil of the Chinese land. This is because as Chinese architects they are in an advantageous position to have a deeper understanding of culture, fundamentals and feature of their own nation. In contrast, foreign designing institutions have their state-of-art technological advantages and optimal brand-new ideas in market operation. An integration of the two for their respective Chinese and foreign advantages will surely yield the finest and most ideal result to be reaped for architectural construction in China.

Following the emplacement of plans mapping out Beijing Olympic Games infrastructure constructions will naturally be launched on a large scale other supplementary projects. Beijing has lately announced to the whole world that it will invite all world bidders to contract its Olympic projects. Beijing has by itself turned into a great ground on which grand Olympics Games are to be launched, a grand contesting stage for all world stalwarts with a will to further the cause of Olympic Games in China!

People's Daily Online

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