The Nest Stadium.

On August 3, 2012, in Activities, Beijing, Entertainment, by Jack Li

One of the things that changed the modern Beijing were the 2008 Oylimpics. If you travel to Beijing now you’ll find a completely different city than just four years ago, make sure to include all the new buildings in your Beijing Tour! One of the most emblematic places from the Beijing Olympics was the Beijing […]

One of the things that changed the modern Beijing were the 2008 Oylimpics. If you travel to Beijing now you’ll find a completely different city than just four years ago, make sure to include all the new buildings in your Beijing Tour!
One of the most emblematic places from the Beijing Olympics was the Beijing National Stadium, also known as The Nest Stadium. This stadium is the place where the most important Olymplic events from the Beijing 2008 olympics were held.

It was where the opening and the closing ceremonies were held and also most of the athletic events, and the football final.
Afther the Olympics it also held the paralympics, with also both ceremonies and the athletic events.

Now it helds a huge range of events such as Opera, athletics and lots of football matches, like friendlies between clubs or even the Italian Supercup. Lots of rumours say that next year will also hold the Spanish Supercup.
But why is it called the Nest Stadium?

The architects, Herzog and de Meuron decided to do a contest to decide wich design will be the most convenient, they needed the ability for post-Olympics use, a retractable roof, and low maintenance costs.

They narrowed it down to 13 and Cthe one who won based his design in the study of the chinese ceramics in order to do a very Chinese stadium (after all it was China’s time to shine!) to held the retractable roof, they would have to put a lot of steel reinforcement, and that was what gave the idea of the Nest form.

In the end they didn’t put the retractable roof but they left the steel bars because that was what gave the Beijing National stadium his pecculiar form.

Situated in the Olympic Green it has a very distinctive form and it has been designed to serve like “a collective building, a public vessel” and its very “porous” but has a roof that protect the public from the weather conditions.

His nest form helps the air to flow and that provides a very good ventilation in the hot Beijing summer.

When you Travel to Beijing remember that it’s not just the old City that has made a way trough the Beijing emblematic places, there are also lots of modern buildings that are worth visiting, the Nest Stadium is the most emblematic one and if you are lucky and there is some activity there is worth visiting it and attending to some event just to see the interior and the way that they are organized and held!

 

Ice Hockey A Hit in Beijing

On August 31, 2011, in Activities, Beijing, Entertainment, Featured China Stories, by Jack Li

When one thinks of the sports in which China excels, swimming, gymnastics or track and field usually come to mind. But ice hockey? While the sport may not have as big a following as soccer or basketball, there are an increasing number of youngsters who are learning about slap shots, hat tricks and teamwork.   […]

When one thinks of the sports in which China excels, swimming, gymnastics or track and field usually come to mind. But ice hockey? While the sport may not have as big a following as soccer or basketball, there are an increasing number of youngsters who are learning about slap shots, hat tricks and teamwork.

 

Flying Tigers

Nestled in a newly built neighborhood on the northwest side of Beijing, high up on the fourth floor of a massive shopping complex, is one of this city’s newest ice rinks. It is also the site of an ice hockey camp for young, talented players.

For several weeks last month, the Flying Tigers hosted a summer camp for these young players. Most were from Beijing, but some came from as far away as HongKong and the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

“Initially coming to China where hockey isn’t their main focus, I was very impressed with the skill level of the kids right from the 04-05s, right up to the big kids,” said Kevin Masters, one of several coaches flown in from Canada. “The specifics of the skating and the individual type skills are absolutely comparable to what we see back home in Canada.”
Supportive parents

And where there is ice hockey – a sport that requires a lot of time and money – there are always ice hockey parents cheering their kids on and giving pointers.

“When my son started playing ice hockey, we had just seen the movie Transformers and he thought goalies look like Transformers with all of their pads on and because of that it was his favorite position,” said Zhou Jianwei, whose eight-year-old son is a goalie.  Zhou says that in China, where many families have only one child, his son is learning more than just a sport.

“Many kids [in China] lack a sense of teamwork and what it means to work hard for what they want to get because their parents have taken care of everything for them. But since he’s started playing ice hockey, he’s slowly begun to understand how to work together with his teammates to accomplish a goal and gained a sense of how [in society] people need to help one another to get things done,” Zhou said.

China’s colder northeast provinces are largely considered the home of ice hockey in the country. And, a large majority of the players on China’s national ice hockey team grew up there.
New ice rinks

Now, with new rinks in Beijing, that is starting to change. Local hockey organizers note that the number of U16 or 16 year-old ice hockey players in Beijing is likely to surpass the number of players in the northeast in the next season or two.

The reasons, they say, are because more families in Beijing can afford ice hockey, which is an expensive sport, and because the northeast is opening up to other sports, which is taking players away from the ice.

Cao Zhennan says her father played hockey while growing up in the northeast and helped to get her son interested.  She says the lessons her son learns from ice hockey far outweigh any future prospect of making the national team or playing more competitively.

“Ice hockey is a fast and physical sport, it’s a really a fun sport,” Cao said. “On top of that, he’s a boy and we got into the sport hoping it would help him become more courageous. It (ice hockey) also gets more interesting as the kids learn how to work together and make a lot of new friends.”

Charlie, an 11-year-old, who plays right wing, says his friend Abiyasi got him interested in the sport a year-and-a-half ago. Charlie says the sport has other benefits besides keeping him away from computer games.

“I think it’s fun. It’s good for my health and it’s not boring!” Charlie said.

 

More teams

Mark Simon, vice president and head coach of the Beijing Imperial Guard Hockey Club, one of several teams in the Beijing Junior Hockey League, says team rosters have been growing in recent years.

“A group of us, our club and a few others started a league in 2008 and 2009 with four teams, which included about 50-60 players,” Simon said. “Now, last season in 10-11, we had about 25 teams, so about 300 players, 300-350.”

Simon, an ex-banker from Montreal who started playing ice hockey at the age of five, says he left his gear in Canada when he first came to China. Several years later, he works for a company that builds rinks in Asia.

He says that as far as Asian cities go, Beijing is quite spoiled.

“To have four full ice sheets is quite rare,” noted Simon. “And that is one of the reasons ice hockey is growing here a lot more quickly than in places like Hong Kong. Hong Kong has got a huge hockey following, a lot of kids playing, but they are very limited by the number of ice surfaces they have.”

 

Just getting started

Lane Moore, another coach who is helping out at the Flying Tigers camp, says ice hockey is just getting started in Beijing.

“With their development of new rinks, new ice surfaces, the numbers in Beijing are going through the roof and I am hearing in Shanghai it is the same way and I just think the potential for ice hockey in China is going to keep going,” Moore said.

Both he and Kevin Masters say they never expected to be running an ice hockey camp in China, and certainly not on the fourth floor of a shopping mall. But they say the publicity from curious shoppers helps build interest in a sport that they say is quickly on its way from a novelty to the mainstream.

 

This article is from VOA.

About VOA:The Voice of America (VOA) is an international multimedia broadcasting service from the U.S.A. with news and information in more than 40 languages. VOAMobile provides easy access to the day’s top stories. For in-depth news visit us at VOANews.com.

 

Interesting Facts about the Beijing Olympics

On July 25, 2011, in Beijing, Featured China Stories, Festivals, by Jack Li

Hosting the Olympics in Beijing was a major occasion for China, and it proved to be a spectacular event. Book Beijing Flights and Travel to Beijing now to see the wonderful Bird Nest and Water Cube constructions. Here are some fascinating facts that you did not know about the 2008 sports competition. 1) The Beijing […]

Hosting the Olympics in Beijing was a major occasion for China, and it proved to be a spectacular event. Book Beijing Flights and Travel to Beijing now to see the wonderful Bird Nest and Water Cube constructions.

Here are some fascinating facts that you did not know about the 2008 sports competition.

1) The Beijing Olympics cost $43 billion with the cost of construction being $1.8 billion. Now the venues are used for public sports, entertainment and are popular tourist attractions.

2) In preparation for the 2008 Olympics, 400 million Chinese students in 500,000 schools throughout the country were educated about the event. This complemented one of the primary goals of the Olympic Movement, which was to educate young people about sporting activities.

 3) This was the last Olympics to include Baseball and Softball as Olympic sports. They have both been excluded from the 2012 Olympics in London.

4) 2008 was the first year since 1936 that a country other than the USA or the Soviet Union led in the medal count.

5) India won 0.31% of the Olympic medals however they house 17% of the world’s population.

6) Pakistan was the most populous country, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, not to win an Olympic medal. The country has an astonishing 164 million people and is the 6th largest nation in the world. This is a rather strange finding, as you would think they would have more skilled sportspeople to choose from. Alternatively, Iceland has a very small population but won an Olympic medal.

7) China has 19.8% of the world’s population and won 10.4% of the Olympic medals.

8 ) The United States only houses 4.6% of the world’s residents however they won 11.5% of the medals.

9) An estimated 4.1 billion people watched the opening ceremony, best online casino however 4.7 billion watched the Olympics.

10) In the closing ceremony there were 2,583 special lights, which weighed a total of 300 tonnes. They had to be installed 5 months in advance.

11) Because of the Beijing Olympics, 3,500 babies in China have been named ‘Aoyun’ or ‘Olympics.’ Chinese mothers-to-be tried to give birth on the day of the opening ceremony.

12) For the 4th consecutive Olympics the highest number of medals was won by the US.

13) 5,000 Yuan ($731) was the most expensive 2008 ticket for the opening ceremony. The cheapest for the sports competitions was 30 Yuan ($4.38.) A total of 7 million tickets were made available to the public.

14) At the opening ceremony, a digital control system minimised the time difference between fireworks to a few milliseconds.  This occurred at 30 locations throughout the city. There were 40,000 shots, but none of them malfunctioned.

15) 4,000 IT specialists were hired to manage the 1,000 servers, 5,000 results systems terminals, 4,000 printers and more than 10,000 computers.

16) The 2008 Beijing Olympics was the first to be produced totally in high-definition (HD.)

17) Beijing used a monitoring system to control 18,000 performers through identification codes. This system was called ‘ShenZhou 4000’ and is usually used during space missions. This is the first time ever technology like this has been used in the Olympics.

18) On the night of the opening ceremony, weather rockets were sent up into the air to stop rain clouds from reaching the Bird’s Nest.

19) The date of the opening ceremony was on the 8th of August 2008 (08.08.08) as the number eight is a lucky number in China.

If you want to learn more about China or the Beijing Olympics book a China Airlines flight now!

Team Spirit: Football in Beijing

On September 13, 2010, in Cultural Experience, Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, by Jack Li

When we go on holiday we like to experience the best that destination has to offer from iconic attractions to fine local cuisine. For many of us however following the tourist trail just isn’t enough and we want to live like a local. Football unites the world as demonstrated this summer in South Africa but with teams the world […]

When we go on holiday we like to experience the best that destination has to offer from iconic attractions to fine local cuisine. For many of us however following the tourist trail just isn’t enough and we want to live like a local. Football unites the world as demonstrated this summer in South Africa but with teams the world over, attending a football match is sometimes a great way to socialize with the local community.  Such an experience rings true in Beijing anyway as I discovered last weekend.

The Workers Stadium

Saturday 11th September 2010, there is a definite buzz around the Worker’s Stadium, ticket touts are competing for custom at the gates and the streets are emblazoned with green Guoan merchandise. Walking by you want to be part of this, join the locals and get behind the home team. Present a group of international interns with a great atmosphere, great football and a potentially great night out and you get over 20 Beijing kit clad westerners descending onto the city streets. Kits are available from Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market, don’t forget to barter to get the best deal.

At The Match

The match we attended was fast paced with goals in both the first and second half.  Shandong Luneng got the better of Beijing Guoan by 3 goals to 2 but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the event. Football anthems were sang, beers were drank at half time and dumplings were ordered after the game to accompany an analysis  on passes, free kicks and tackles which was carried out between mouthfuls. Just like home.

To experience football in Beijing like we did visit  for match dates and venues. Tickets for events may be purchased from the Workers Stadium box office situated at the front entrance next to the sport’s store.

Alternatively if sport is not your thing contact China Travel Depot for a personalized itinerary or take inspiration from China Travel Depot’s online guide to experience the best of Beijing.

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