Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2008 Beijing Olympics

As the 2008 Olympics in Beijing nears, construction is in full force. Also out in full force are the Olympic Flagship Stores (as well as the many copies you can find in the streets). During our stay in Beijing we took many different pictures of the different Olympic advertisements and mascots throughout the city. We also learned the story behind the mascots of this year's Olympics.

Like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their color and inspiration, Fuwa will serve as the Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and peace -- and good wishes from China -- to children all over the world.

Designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends, Fuwa also embody the natural characteristics of four of China's most popular animals -- the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow -- and the Olympic Flame.

Each of Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name -- a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow.

When you put their names together -- Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni -- they say "Welcome to Beijing," offering a warm invitation that reflects the mission of Fuwa as young ambassadors for the Olympic Games.

Fuwa also embody both the landscape and the dreams and aspirations of people from every part of the vast country of China. In their origins and their headpieces, you can see the five elements of nature -- the sea, forest, fire, earth and sky -- all stylistically rendered in ways that represent the deep traditional influences of Chinese folk art and ornamentation.
If you're interested in the full details behind each character, click here to go to the official site.

Olympic Flagship Store on WangFujing.

Inside the store.

This is a picture of a souvenier we had purchased to comemorate the Beijing Olympics. It has 5 pins, one for each of the mascots. We chose this item not only because it had all five mascots, but because it was the only item we could find that actually told the story of how the mascots came to be.
Because there are five different characters, they are able to sell each one individually (some in boxed sets) and make a killer profit.

Mugs and cups galore!

Key chains.

The Forbidden City.

Temple of Heaven.

The Water Cube (see below for details).

Another version of the Water Cube.

Temple of Heaven.

Yet another version of the Water Cube.

Forbidden City / Tian An Men Square Gate

The Great Wall of China.

The Bird's Nest (see story below).

This countdown, courtesy of OMEGA was near the WangFujing Shopping area.

Inside the OMEGA store.

The current work in progress, the National Aquatic Center, also known as the Water Cube. This landmark building of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, located inside the Beijing Olympic Green. The planning area of the NSC is 62950m², and the total floor area is 65,000 - 80,000m², in which the underground component is not less than 15,000 m².

The National Aquatics Center will be the venue for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water-polo final during the Olympic Games. The total seating capacity is 17,000, including 6,000 permanent and 11,000 temporary for Games which will be removed post-Games, then the National Aquatics Center will become the venue for various activities such as aquatic sports, swimming, fitness and recreation. Click here to view more information on the Water Cube, including a 3D Flash Tour.

The National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest islocated on the Olympic Green. It will be the venue for athletics and football during the Olympic Games. The total seating capacity is 91,000 with a total land surface of 258,000 sq m. The Stadium is to stage sports events at national and international levels, as well as cultural and entertaining activities after the Olympics games. Click here for more info and 3D pictures.

3D artwork of the Water Cube and Bird's Nest.

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