- 2008 Summer Olympics bids
winner = Beijing| votes1 = 56| runner-up = TorontoFive cities made the shortlist with their bids to host the
votes2 = 22
shortlisted1 = Paris| shortlisted2 = Istanbul| shortlisted3 = Osaka
February 1, 2000
June 20, 2000
August 28, 2000| decision = July 13, 2001| notes = First election that used the two-phase bidding procedure, approved by the IOC at the 110th Session, in 1999. 2008 Summer Olympics(officially known as "Games of the XXIX Olympiad") and 2008 Summer Paralympics, which were awarded to Beijing, on July 13, 2001. The other shortlisted cities were Toronto, Paris, Istanbuland Osaka.
Beijing 2008 was the successful bid for the
2008 Summer Olympics, with most events to be held in Beijing.
In its bid for the Olympic games made in 2001, the
PRCmade several promises to the IOCregarding improvements with human rights, press freedoms, and environmental concerns. However, it has been widely reported by western media sources that China has failed to live up to the guarantees it made in order to bolster its chances of winning the bid for the games.cite web|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idUSHKG8344020080728?feedType=RSS&feedName=sportsNews|title=Amnesty slams China's broken Olympics promises | Sports | Reuters]
Beijing Olympic bid chief
Wang Weistated in 2001:
However, the human rights group
Amnesty Internationalreleased a statement marking the 10 day countdown to the games stating that:
Promise of improved human rights
Though the PRC publicly claimed in 2001 that it would improve human rights in China, Amnesty International stated in 2008 that, "In the run-up to the Olympics, the Chinese authorities have locked up, put under house arrest and forcibly removed individuals they believe may threaten the image of “stability” and “harmony” they want to present to the world. They must release all imprisoned peaceful activists, allow foreign and national journalists to report freely and make further progress towards the elimination of the death penalty." [cite web|url=http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/chinese-authorities-broken-promises-threaten-olympic-legacy-20080728|title=Chinese authorities’ broken promises threaten Olympic legacy | Amnesty International] In late July, U.S. senator
Sam Brownbackannounced that he had received evidence (in the form of an official memo from China's Public Security Bureau) that foreign-owned hotels in China had been ordered by the Chinese government to comply with electronic surveillance of guests by installing special equipment (called the Security Management System for Internet Access from Public Places), or face "severe retaliation." [cite web|url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gAkDaSkHWHboscdhQZwdRBt6Hznw|title=AFP: China plans to spy on Olympic hotel guests: US senator] Dead link|date=August 2008 [cite web|url=http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-olyspy30-2008jul30,0,5823677.story|title=Sen. Brownback says China monitoring Internet access in hotels - Los Angeles Times] [cite web|url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jiZadkVJSv7CQ7lHqBOIlkTqVmzgD927QP880|title=The Associated Press: Senator: China spying on Internet use in hotels] On July 30 2008, the US House of Representativespassed a resolution by 419 votes to 1 that called for immediate action to stop the arrests of civil activists and Tibetans and to put pressure on China to stop supporting Burma and Sudan. [cite web|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/31/olympics?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront|title=China accuses US of trying to sabotage Olympics | World news | guardian.co.uk]
Promise of freedom of the press
Despite initial guarantees of total press freedom by the PRC in 2001, and assurances from the IOC in early 2008 that journalists would have unfettered access to the internet, the
Beijing Organizing Committeeannounced in late July that China would allow only "convenient" access —still blocking web sites the PRCdeemed inappropriate, particularly those critical of China's involvement in Tibet, Darfur, Burma, the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square [http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1826710,00.html?xid=feed-cnn-topics ] , and HIV/AIDSissues in China, as well as its crackdown on religious groups such as Falun Gong. Chinese authorities have also blocked passports for foreign journalists. The government justified these action by claiming that these journalists were planning to report on political topics rather than the Olympics, and stated on July 31 that "The Chinese government won't allow the spread of any information that is forbidden by law or harms national interests on the Internet." [cite web|url=http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/07/31/olympics.fallguy.ap/index.html|title=Olympic official feels like 'fall guy' over Web ban - CNN.com] [cite web|url=http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jul2008/gb20080731_410483.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_global+business|title=NGOs: China Is Breaking Olympics Promises] The NGO, Human Rights Watchhas alleged that China has failed to keep its press freedom promise, [cite web|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/sports/olympics/09beijing.html?ref=olympics|title=Two Concerns for Olympics - Air and Access - NYTimes.com] and one IOCcommittee member commented anonymously that "Had the I.O.C....known seven years ago that there would be severe restrictions...then I seriously doubt whether Beijing would have been awarded the Olympics". [cite web|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/21/sports/olympics/21nbc.html?hp|title=Networks Fight Shorter Olympic Leash - NYTimes.com]
On August 1, 2008, the IOC announced that the Chinese organizers
BOCOGhad agreed to lift all Internet restrictions for media covering the Beijing Games. "The issue has been solved," vice-president Gunilla Lindberg said. "The IOC Coordination Commission and BOCOG met last night and agreed. Internet use will be just like in any Olympics." [cite web|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Olympics/idUSL131393420080801|title=Hu stands by Games pledges, web curbs lifted | Sports | 2008 Summer Olympics | Reuters]
Promise to improve the environment
China pledged to "Deliver Clean Energy Towards a Harmonious World" and that by 2008, measurements of
carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxideand sulfur dioxidewould meet World Health Organizationstandards and airborne particle density would be reduced to the level of major cities in developed countries, however the IOC stated that Beijing had so far met only WHO 2005 interim guidelines, which are significantly less restrictive, and that "Official data during the Aug. 8 to Aug. 24 Olympic period indicates air quality was actually worse in 2006 and 2007 than in 2000 and 2001." An analysis of August 2007 data found that Beijing's air registered 123 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter, more than double the WHO guideline of 50 micrograms per cubic meter for short-term exposure. [cite web|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/20/AR2008042002044_pf.html|title=China Falls Short on Vows for Olympics] China's initial failure prior to the games to meet these standards has caused concern among some Olympics athletes, particularly long distance runners such as world marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie, considered the world's greatest long distance runner, who has said he will skip the long-distance running event in Beijing because of the city's poor air quality and fears his health could be damaged by running through the streets of the Chinese capital, a decision he would later regret. [cite web|url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23581237/|title=China vows clean air at Olympics - World environment - MSNBC.com] [http://www.indianexpress.com/story/350364.html] Despite the initial concerns over the air quality, the Beijing air had improved to healthy levels of particle matter by the first week of the games, and officials stated that the particles were actually mostly caused by moisture. [http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2008/08/olympics-smog-2.html?csp=34] .
At the end of the first round of voting, only
Beijing, Toronto, Paris, and Istanbulremained; Osakawas eliminated after having received only six votes. In the second round, Beijing received enough votes to grab the absolute majority, and no subsequent rounds of voting were required. The results [ [http://www.olympic.org/uk/games/beijing/election_uk.asp International Olympic Committee - Olympic Games ] ] of the second round were as follows: Beijing garnered 56 votes, Toronto 22, Paris 18, and Istanbul 9.
The IOC evaluation commission classified [ [http://www.olympic.org/uk/utilities/reports/level2_uk.asp?HEAD2=47&HEAD1=11 2001, Host City Election Procedure 2008] : [http://www.olympic.org/common/asp/download_report.asp?file=en_report_299.pdf&id=299 Report of the IOC Evaluation Commission] ] the "political system" as "working for China" and declared: "The overall presence of strong governmental control and support is healthy...". Li Lan-Qing (2001-07-17, vice premier of the PRC): "The winning of the 2008 Olympic bid is an example of the international recognition of China's social stability, economic progress and the healthy life of the Chinese people."
While many nations praised the decision, opposing groups objected arguing that China's human rights issues made it unfit for the honor. The
European Parliamentissued a resolution [ [http://www.europarl.europa.eu/omk/omnsapir.so/pv2?PRG=DOCPV&APP=PV2&SDOCTA=16&TXTLST=1&TPV=PROV&POS=1&Type_Doc=RESOL&DATE=050701&DATEF=010705&TYPEF=TITRE&PrgPrev=PRG@TITRE%7cAPP@PV2%7cTYPEF@TITRE%7cYEAR@01%7cFind@olympic%7cFILE@BIBLIO01%7cPLAGE@1&LANGUE=EN European Parliament resolution on Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games] ] on Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games. To quell concerns over this, Beijing chose the motto of "New Beijing, Great Olympics" in order to emphasize the country's movement towards new ideals for the new millennium.
Eight years earlier, Beijing put in a bid to host the
2000 Summer Olympics. Beijing led every round of voting for those games, but lost in the final round to Sydney by just two votes.
Did not make short-list
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Did not submit entries, but planned to
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cape Town, South Africa
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia
New York City, United States
Seattle, United States
* [http://www.bharathtalk.com/forums/olympics-2008/beijing-2008-olympic-games-fast-foods-60.html Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Fast Foods]
* [http://www.gamesbids.com/english/archives/arch2008.shtml 2008 Olympic bid]
* [http://www.chinaorbit.com/2008-olympics-china/2008-olympics-china.html Beijing's bid for the Olympic Games in 2008]
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