Beijing 2008 Update
Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games organizers are designing a high-tech Olympic torch capable of withstanding gale-force wind, torrential rain, sudden hail and the oxygen-thin air atop Mount Everest to burn brightly. Deputy general manager with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. Xue Li, designer of the torch said, “the flame, about 20 to 30 centimetres high, should be bright and very pleasant to the eyes. He told the Xinhua news agency the flame is designed to be able to weather strong storms with a wind speed of 24.5 to 32.6 metres per second and a heavy rain with a per-hour precipitation of more than 50 millimetres. Xue said the fuel would be well stored and pollution free.
Eight hundred and seventy people have been selected to become the first batch of volunteers for the Games, as announced by the Beijing 2008 organizing committee. Xinhua reports they earned the honour because of their outstanding performance during last summer’s Olympic test events held in Beijing. More than 700,000 people have applied so far to be volunteers for the Beijing 2008 Games but 100,000 volunteers are needed. Recruitment should end before May 2008.
A top intellectual property rights official said Thursday that China has taken steps to prevent Olympic copyright infringement. Tian Lipu, director of the State Intellectual Property Office, told a press conference “we’re confident of creating a sound environment in the IPR sector for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He said the State Council, or Chinese cabinet, issued regulations to protect Olympic symbols from copyright violations shortly after China won the bid. Tian said relevant government administrations have issued more than 10 regulations in recent years to protect the copyrights of the Olympic rings, five mascot dolls, the emblem and other IPR products related to the Games.
17 October 2007
More than 27,000 items of clothing have been collected already in the first three months of the second Giving is Winning campaign – this is nearly as much as the total number reached by the campaign’s first edition during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The figure shows how well the joint IOC and UNHCR clothes collection project in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games has been received by the Olympic Family.
How it works
The concept of the project is simple: the IOC encourages members and supporters of the Olympic Movement to donate unused sports and casual clothes, which are then distributed by the UNHCR to various refugee camps around the globe to enable the holding of sporting activities. Experience shows that sport can provide a semblance of normality and structure to lives that are in disarray. Two considerable donations from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the British Olympic Association (BOA) have reached, or are on their way to, refugee camps in Rwanda and Chad.
Feedback from the field during the BOA distribution, such as from Jerusalem Eyob, UNHCR Field Officer for camps in Rwanda, speaks for itself: "I wish you were here to witness as much as I did the joy and big smiles on the faces of the young refugees - it is a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Thank you again for your kindness, consideration and wonderful gift."
The IOC has received 15 further pledges of donations from various National Olympic Committees, International Federations and other sports bodies, and is confident that more will follow. The potential is big, and it is no coincidence that the second edition of the project is not limited to donations at Games time, but has been extended to run for a whole year in the lead-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
19 October 2007
The "greening" of the sports world, and particularly the Olympic Games and other mega sports events, will be the focus of the 7th World Conference on Sport and the Environment which kicks off next week in Beijing. Taking place from 25-27 October in the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games, the event promises a remarkable and unprecedented mix of contributions from sports organisations, sponsors, NGOs, industry, government representatives and UN bodies. With its motto “From Plan to Action” the conference, jointly organised by the IOC and the Beijing 2008 Organising Committee (BOCOG), in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), aims to translate opportunities into practical actions to ensure a sustainable future.
Why sport and the environment?
A sustainable future - including social, economic and environmental aspects - is crucial for the future of sport. The increasingly fragile condition of the environment poses a direct threat to the future of sport. Accordingly, the efforts of the Olympic Movement are driven by two major concerns: the first is the impact that a degraded environment can have on sport, the Olympic Games and most importantly, the athletes. The second concern is the reciprocal impact that sport and, in particular, the Olympic Games, can have on the environment. Every nation on the globe is part of the environmental problem as well as the solution, and 205 of them participate in the Olympic Games. As such, the Games offer a rare forum for learning and cooperation.
Following presentations from past and future Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), a complete session will be devoted to Beijing’s environment partners, who will present a progress report on the preparations for the 2008 Games.
Make it happen
In order to overcome universal environmental challenges, single efforts must be unified into a joint action. Also, for the sports movement, advice from NGOs and other experts, such as UNEP, plays a key role in helping to develop strategies for the future. Since 1994 the IOC has been working closely with UNEP, and several OCOGs have followed this successful cooperation. Currently, UNEP is conducting an environmental audit of the Beijing Olympic Games and will also continue working with the Beijing authorities in the long term. This is to ensure that the environmental legacy remains intact – and is built upon for future development. For the first time, the World Conference will welcome a representative from Greenpeace who will share his experience working with sports event organisers. The official conclusions will be a tool to ensure that the discussions and the outcomes of the World Conference itself will be sustainable – not forgotten, but monitored, followed up and developed further.