Fans Note Differences Between London, Beijing Olympics

Brian Padden
LONDON — For many veteran fans of the Olympics, the London experience has so far been quite different than that of the Beijing games in 2008.
 
American Gary Davis has been to nine Olympics and says the stadiums built for the London games cannot compare to the iconic architectural design of the bird's nest stadium and water cube aquatic center built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Still, he says, London has other advantages.

“The facilities in Beijing were truly spectacular. They were really incredible. There is nothing wrong with these. They are very nice. Everything is very well organized. It is nice to be speaking English,” Davis said.

John Fogarty from Los Angeles says so far the London games are fun.  But he says there was more public excitement in Beijing.

“I don't know if that's because that city was although big, a little more central and everything here is a little more spread out but it seemed like everywhere you went in Beijing was just a little more intense in terms of the focus on the Olympics aspect of it,” Fogerty said.

Of course for the Chinese, the Beijing Olympics was a chance to showcase the country's emerging wealth and power, while the Chinese government kept a tight lid on political activities surrounding the games.  In London, political activists and other protestors have free rein.  For the British, the Olympics are just one of many international sporting events held in London over the years.

Die-hard Lithuanian Olympics fan Alius Bilunas and his friends say they prefer the focus on fun and sports in London to the artificial grandeur of Beijing.

“China was a bit of a blow up. They made it look not as good as it was. I think London showed real respect to everybody,” Bilunas said.

And many of these experienced fans prefer the cool, wet climate of London to the intense heat of Beijing in summer.

  • Spectator Nat Aaronson, whose face is painted like a Union flag, poses for a portrait on the Box Hill circuit of the men's cycling road race at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London July 28, 2012. 012 Olympic Games in London July 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mark
  • A young Great Britain fan enjoys the atmosphere before the London 2012 Olympic Games men's quarter-final football match between Great Britain and South Korea at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on August 4, 2012.
  • A soccer fan of Spain with her face painted, smiles during men's Group D football match against Honduras in the London 2012 Olympic Games at St James' Park in Newcastle July 29, 2012.
  • A spectator with a Brazilian and an Egyptian (L) national flag on either cheek smiles ahead of the men's Group C football match between the two countries at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff July 26, 2012.
  • A Switzerland fan smiles while attending their men's Group B football match against South Korea in the London 2012 Olympic Games at the City of Coventry stadium July 29, 2012.
  • Fans of France's handball team pose for photos before their men's handball Preliminaries Group A match against Britain at the Copper Box venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012.
  • Fans of Japan's national women soccer team smile before the team's women's Group F football match against Sweden at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the City of Coventry Stadium July 28, 2012.
  • Fans wave Brazilian national flags ahead of their men's Group C football match against Egypt at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff July 26, 2012.
  • Hungary fans pose for pictures in their men's handball Preliminaries Group B match against Denmark at the Copper Box venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012.
  • A Britain fan, with her face painted in the style of the Union Jack, smiles while attending the men's Group A football match against Senegal at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Old Trafford, Manchester, northern England July 26, 2012.
  • Young spectators watch the men's -81kg and women's 63kg judo competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012.
  • A British fan waits for the Britain - Brazil women's Group E football match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London July 31, 2012.
  • A supporter of the US watches the women's doubles semifinal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games between Russia's Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko against US Venus Williams and Serena Williams, at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest Lon
  • A fan of Iceland's handball team wearing a hat reacts ahead of the men's preliminary Group A handball match Iceland vs France for the London 2012 Olympics Games on August 4, 2012 at the Copper Box hall in London.
  • Fans of France and Spain's handball team pose ahead of the women's preliminary Group B handball match Norway vs Spain for the London 2012 Olympics Games on August 5, 2012 at the Copper Box hall in London.
  • A Britain supporter waves before the men's preliminary first round Group A soccer match against UAE at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Wembley Stadium in London.
  • Glenn Frank from central England wears contact lenses depicting the Union flag, commonly known as the Union Jack, as he walks in the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 3, 2012
  • Spectator wears glasses with the shape of the Olympic logo attending the men's 94Kg group B weightlifting competition at the ExCel venue at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dennis Cox from: Ireland
August 02, 2012 5:03 PM
This is the price of that Olympic Gold.

Nanning Gymnasium in Nanning, China, is one of many ruthless training camps in China. Here children, some as young as five, battle to complete the demanding routines on bars, rings, and mats. Her face etched with pain, a child trains for Olympic glory while her gymnastics trainer stands on her legs.
Nanning Gymnasium in Nanning, China, is one of many ruthless training camps across the country to which parents send their children to learn how to be champions.But while training techniques appear extreme to Western eyes, they provide an insight into why China's athletes at London 2012 seem so easily able to swim, dive, lift and shoot their way to victory.

The youngsters at the same training school will be hoping to emulate the success of 16-year-old swimming sensation Ye Shewin, who glided into the record books on Saturday night.
Only last January harrowing photographs were posted on the internet showing Chinese children crying in pain as they were put to work.
In case they had forgotten why they were there, a large sign on the wall reminded them. ‘GOLD’ it said simply.
Charges are often taught by rote that their mission in life is to beat the Americans and all-comers to the top of the podium.




by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
August 02, 2012 11:45 AM
London Olympic sucks. People is so poor and horrible.

by: Bruce from: Beijing,China
August 01, 2012 7:05 AM
London is cool and Beijing is hot at this season. This year it's cool here also because of rains day by day. London Olympic open ceremony was impressed on me because of "Mr. Bean", a funny guy who is playing piano so easy and so amazing music. Hey Jude was also a popular song here becuase sometime we have a Hongkong star singer singing this song in Chinese, very impressive it is.

by: nick from: Beijing
August 01, 2012 6:39 AM
beer was only 5rmb at the events in Beijing...at the time that was about 65cents usd...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs