Olympic Green is the major site of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in the city of Beijing. It is located in the Chaoyang district, immediately north of the Forbidden City.
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, or more officially the Games of the XXIX Olympiad 第二十九届夏季奥林匹克运动会 took place in Beijing from August 8 to 24, 2008. Over 10,000 athletes from 204 nations competed in 28 sports and 302 events. Beijing was awarded the Games on July 13, 2001 and the Chinese government promoted the Games and invested heavily in new facilities and transport. The official logo of the games, titled "Dancing Beijing" features the Chinese character jīng 京, meaning capital.
There were 43 world records and 132 Olympic records set at the 2008 Summer Olympics. An unprecedented 86 countries won at least one medal during the Games. Chinese athletes won the most gold medals, with 51, and 100 medals altogether, while the United States had the most total medals with 110. The 2008 Summer Olympics is the most watched event in human history.
Construction of the Beijing-based venues began in 2007. The largest structures built were the Beijing National Stadium, Beijing National Indoor Stadium, Beijing National Aquatics Center, Olympic Green Convention Center, Olympic Green, and Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center. Some events were held outside Beijing, namely football in Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Tianjin; sailing in Qingdao; and the equestrian events were held in Hong Kong. The amazing centrepiece of Olympic Green is the Beijing National Stadium, nicknamed "The Bird's Nest" because of its nest-like exterior. The stadium hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics competition.
Subway line 8 travels north-south through Olympic Green. There are several subway stations in this area. Olympic Sports Centre, Olympic Green and South Gate of Forrest Park. Just to the south of this area is Beitucheng which is the transfer station between lines 8 and 10.
Many of the Olympic venues are situated in or around the Olympic Green in Chaoyang. Note that the Olympic Green area is now like a public square that can be visited for free. Admission is charged if you want to visit inside the venues:
- National Stadium (北京国家体育场; Běijīng Guójiā Tǐyùchǎng), Olympic Park, Chaoyang District (Olympic Green Stn (Line 8)), ☎ +86 10 8498-6888. 09:00-19:00, lights on until 21:00 or later, check with your hotel. Also known as the "Bird's Nest" (鸟巢 Niǎocháo), this stadium, designed by Herzog & Meuron, is the world's largest steel structure. It hosted opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletic and football matches during the olympics. It was planned to host football matches after the Olympics, but due to few expected spectators the football club backed out of the agreement. Therefore, the stadium has found very little use after the olympics and is planned to be converted to a shopping and entertainment complex. ¥50.
- National Aquatics Center (国家游泳中心; Guójiā Yóuyǒng Zhōngxīn), (Olympic Green Stn (Line 8)). Lights on until 21:00 or later, check with your hotel. Also known as the "Water Cube" (水立方 Shǔilìfāng) Swimming and diving venue. Tickets to visit the inside of the Water Cube are sold throughout the day. The ticket office is inconveniently located by the tour bus parking lot at the northwest corner of the building (which is a fair hike from the building entrance at the southeast corner, facing the stadium). The building also sometimes now hosts sound and light shows in the evenings. ¥30.
- National Indoor Stadium (国家体育馆; Guójiātǐyùguǎn), 18 Beichen E Rd (北辰东路18号; Běichén Dōng Lù). Gymnastics venue.
- Olympic Sports Center Stadium.
- Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium.
- Ying Tung Natatorium (Yingdong Natatorium).
- Olympic Green Tennis Center.
Olympic venues are also found elsewhere in Chaoyang:
- Beijing Workers' Stadium (工人体育场; Gōngréntǐyùchǎng), Gongti N Rd (工体北路; Gōngtǐ Běi Lù). An old stadium renovated to be a football (soccer) venue, still used for sports events and major concerts.
- Beijing Workers' Gymnasium (工人体育馆; Gōngréntǐyùguǎn), Gongti N Rd (工体北路; Gōngtǐ Běi Lù).
- Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium (北京工业大学体育馆; Běijīng Gōngyèdàxuétǐyùguǎn), 100 Ping Le Yuan (平乐园100号; Pínglèyuán).
Finally, Olympic venues can be found in other districts including China Agricultural University Gymnasium, Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics Gymnasium, Peking University Gymnasium, Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium, Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium, Beijing Shooting Range CTF, Beijing Shooting Range Hall, Laoshan Velodrome, Laoshan Mountain Bike Course, and Fengtai Sports Center Softball Field.
- Chinese Ethnic Culture Park (China Nationalities Museum) (中华民族园 (中华民族博物院简介); Zhōnghuámínzúyuán (Zhōnghuámínzúbówùyuànjiǎnjiè)), 1 Minzuyuan Rd (民族园路1号; Mínzúyuánlù) (500 m NW of Beitucheng Stn (lines 10 and 8)), ☎ +86 10 6206-3640 ([email protected]), . 08:30-18:00. Park and museum with buildings and exhibitions showing the characteristics of China's 56 nationalities. This does give a good overview and a better understanding of the diversity of China, but everything seems a bit dated and dusty. Also estaurants and shops in the park. ¥90.
- Science and Technology Museum
- Olympic Park Observation Tower
- China Puppet Theater (中国木偶剧院; Zhōngguómùǒujùyuàn), 1 Anhua Xili, E Third Ring Rd (东三环安华西里甲1号; Dōngsānhuán ānhuáxīlǐ), ☎ +86 10 6425-4798, . Performances throughout the day. Both classical Western and classical Chinese plays for children performed by puppets. Also a playground available. "="¥80-¥380".
- Sunken Garden Shopping Centre
- Aoya Hotel (北京奥亚酒店; Běijīngàoyàjiǔdiàn), 169 Beiyuan Rd (北苑路169号; Běiyuàn Lù) (500 m NE of Anzhenmen Stn (Line 10)), ☎ +86 10 6489-2299 ([email protected], fax: +86 10 6497-0878), . Rooms with internet against surchage as well as aircon, fridge and cable TV. Business center, beauty salon, ticket office, laundry service, karaoke and massage available. Chinese restaurant and room service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥308, discounted from ¥181; Breakfast ¥15.
- Yinma Hotel (北京银马酒店; Běijīngyínmǎjiǔdiàn), 2F Bldg 1, A4 Anwai Dayangfang (安外大羊坊甲4号1号楼2层; ānwàidàyángfāngjiǎ) (300 m S of Lishuqiao S Stn (Line 5)), ☎ +86 10 8492-3314 (fax: +86 10 8493-3014). Rooms with free internet. Business center, ticket office and laundry service available. Chinese restaurant. Listed rates for doubles from ¥218, discounted from ¥172, including breakfast.
- Harat Austraders Hotel Beijing (北京禾融商旅酒店; Běijīnghéróngshānglǚjiǔdiàn), 1 Jiananshatan (南沙滩甲1号; Nánshātānjiǎ) (800 m W of Olympic Green Stn (Line 8)), ☎ +86 10 5136-7088 ([email protected], fax: +86 10 5136-7199), . Rooms without internet access, except for deluxe rooms. Beauty salon and ticket office available. No restaurant. Listed rates for doubles without window from ¥280, discounted from ¥163; Western breakfast ¥20, Chinese ¥10; rooms with window somewhat more expensive.
- Aoyuncun (如家酒店 (北京奥运村店); Rújiājiǔdiàn (Běijīng Àoyùncūndiàn)), 78A Anwaibeiyuan Rd (安外北苑路甲78号; ānwàiběiyuànlùjiǎ), ☎ +86 10 8493-9933 (fax: +86 10 8493-7332), . Small rooms with free internet. Business center, ticket office and laundry service available. Chinese restaurant. Listed rates for doubles from ¥219, discounted from ¥181; breakfast ¥15.
- Fujian Hotel, Chaoyang Dist, . Conveniently located near the major exhibition centers and the Olympic Park, Fujian Hotel offers a long list of luxurious business amenities, a ballroom, and plush rooms.