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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs