Olympic Citizen: Beijing Pt.1

Jingyang XU, PhD student, 26, Beijing

Which aspect of your city and it’s time as an Olympic Games host or bid city made you most proud?

I was most proud of the enthusiasm of all the citizens for this international activity. Actually, I think many people in China, not just those in Beijing, were very excited at the Olympic Games and even had somehow made contributions to it.

Do you think Beijing has changed (or will change) for the better and what do you think the biggest single legacy is or will be?

Beijing had more modern facilities.

As for the biggest single legacy, I think National stadium (also called the Bird’s Nest) was the most impressive one. It has become the new landmark of Beijing, and more and more events (culture, entertainment, sports, etc.) are held there.


What particular challenges or lessons from Beijing can act as lessons for future host cities?

I think that for old cities like Beijing, there are particular challenges because big changes take place. Thus, it is very important to avoid conflicts between modernity and history. For example, to hold such a big activity, much infrastructure will be developed and therefore designers and decision-makers have to consider those potential changes very carefully in order to protect the historical and cultural landscapes of the city.

Why do you think other cities should consider or not consider hosting or bidding for the Olympic Games?

I think it depends. Big cities must consider if they have enough resources (including venues, people’s enthusiasm, and financial support) available to support an Olympic Games bid.

What was your favourite moment during the Beijing Olympic Games?

I think the day when China won the Olympic bid is one of the most pleasant memories. I was watching TV together with my parents, and we are very excited that Beijing was selected as the Olympic city.

Do you think cities can improve their brand through the Olympic Games, and how do you think Beijing’s brand is forever changed?

Yes, I think so. The Olympic Games is a chance for a city to welcome people all around the world, and a lot of media attention will focus on this city during that period. As a result, the city will become famous and can showcase positive and beautiful images to the world.

What are the some of the ways in which the Olympic Games has, and is inspiring a more liveable city for citizens?

Firstly, I think the Beijing Olympic Games has promoted some changes in environment. More trees were planted in neighbourhood areas before the Olympic Games, which led to less sand and dust weather.

Secondly, the ticket price of subway was cut down during and after the Olympic Games. The Government tried to encourage public transportation.

If you could go back into the past, and look into Future Beijing, what would you change about some of the decisions made before the Olympic Games?

I suggest that the improvement in the environment could be forever maintained and further promoted.

What do you think will make London 2012 unique when compared to previous host cities?

I think the unique cultural and historical features of London will make it special.

What role should citizens play in the lead up to hosting the Olympic Games? Do you think citizens were or are being involved enough in some of the key decisions? Why or why not?

I agree that Citizens should be involved in such a big event. In Beijing Olympic Games, I think ideas and suggestions from citizens were encouraged.

In the future, I suggest that the organizers may try to provide easier ways to make more citizens participate in decision making.