One World, One Dream
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Ambassador of China in
Sri Lanka Ye Dabo outlines Beijing’s preparations for the Games, the
venues and China’s hopes for the Games and beyond. The 29th edition of
the Summer Olympics will start on August 8.
Q: Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will become the focus of world
attention. How is the preparatory work going on now?
A: The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games is approaching. Today marks
the 3-day countdown. At present, all the preparatory work, including
venue construction, competition organization, media operation, Olympic
education and marketing, has been finished.
Some special organizations have already been established to guarantee
the smooth operations of the Games, such as Security Coordination Group
and Opening and Closing Ceremonies leading Group. “Green Olympics” comes
true and people can enjoy the blue sky, fresh air and clean water in
The traffic problems are solved. More than 100,000 well-trained
volunteers are ready to serve. And over 100,000 policemen and
professional security staff as well as the People’s Liberation Army are
deployed to ensure the security.
Ambassador Ye Dabo
Everything has been done to welcome the 20,000 athletes, 30,000 media
personnel, seven million spectators and more than 80 heads of states or
governments. In a word, Beijing is ready for the Olympics. It will
welcome people from every corner of the world with smile.
Q: What kind of Olympics, do you expect, will Beijing present
to the world?
A:Our promise to the world is that we will hold a high-level
Olympic Games with distinguishing features, leaving a unique legacy for
China and world sports.
“High-level” means high-level sporting venues, facilities and
competition organizations; high-level opening ceremonies and cultural
events; high-level media services and favourable press commentary;
high-level security work; high-level volunteers and services; high-level
transportation and logistics; high-level urban civility and
friendliness; and high-level performances by athletes from around the
“Distinguishing Features” refer to the Chinese style, cultural
splendour and mass participation. The Beijing Olympic Games will fully
display China’s 5,000-year history and its culture.
It will fully express the common aspirations of the Chinese people to
seek peace, development and common progress together with the peoples of
It will highlight the fact that the 1.3 billion Chinese people of 56
ethnic groups, along with 50 million overseas Chinese, are all
enthusiastic participants in the Beijing Olympic Games.
Q: There will be so many athletes gathering in Beijing. Are
there enough competition venues? What work has been done in terms of the
A: In order to meet the need for stadiums and gymnasiums of
the Games, Beijing has built 12 new venues, expanded 11 existing ones
and set up eight temporary ones. All of them were completed with good
Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube, namely, the National Stadium and
National Aquatics Center, have become the signature buildings for
Q: Just now you talked about the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.
Can you make an introduction to the two buildings?
A: Bird’s Nest will serve as the main venue of the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games. It occupies 21.4 hectares, covering an area of
258,000 square meters. It is 68 meters high and holds 91,000 seats. The
opening and closing ceremonies, Athletics and Football events will be
held in it.
Water Cube’s Games-time construction area is close to 80,000 square
meters, containing 17,000 standard seats, including 6,000 permanent
seats and 11,000 temporary ones. During Games, it will produce 42 gold
medals in swimming, diving and synchronized swimming.
After the Olympics, it will be converted into a multi-functional
facility for sports, culture and recreation. The project’s air cushion
structures are the first of their kind to be used in China and the
largest and most complicated membrane system in any single project in
Q: The total population in Beijing is about 17 million.
Millions of spectators will also go to Beijing during the Olympic
period. How can China solve the traffic problem ?
A:Traffic jams used to be a big headache for the people in
Beijing. With a view to ensuring smooth transportation, Beijing has
implemented a “Transportation Strategic Plan” for the Games. The Plan
promotes public transport and provides special traffic lanes for
exclusive Olympic use. The city’s underground transport network has also
Right now the “odd-even traffic restrictions” are implemented.
Vehicles with plates ending in odd numbers shall be allowed on the road
on odd dates and those with plates ending in even numbers shall be
allowed on even dates.
People with Olympic tickets can take free rides in buses, subway and
light railway. We will make sure the spectators travel freely and
smoothly in Beijing.
Q: What measures have been taken to protect the environment in
A: A series of measures are taken to make sure that we have
“Green Olympics”. Nearly 90% of the public transport have been
transformed to use eco-friendly fuels and 20% of the sports venues are
power-supplied by wind and solar energy.
A large number of trees have been planted. Many factories that may
cause pollution were closed or removed from Beijing.
Q: China was hit by the disastrous earthquake in May. How do
you evaluate the impacts on the Beijing Olympics?
A:The strong quake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale in
northwest part of Sichuan Province caused great loss of lives and
property. But the Chinese people never give up their efforts for the
The courage, perseverance, cohesion and unity of the Chinese nation
in fighting against the disaster have encouraged us to do a better job.
Q: Why is it said that the Beijing Olympics meets the
aspirations of the Chinese people for the past 100 years? Are there any
stories behind this saying?
A:Shortly after the London Olympics in 1908, some students
wrote to a magazine entitled Tianjin Youth and asked three questions,
namely, “when will China dispatch an athlete to attend the Olympics?”
“when will China dispatch a team to attend the Olympics?” and “when will
China host the Olympics?”
It took 100 years for the Chinese nation to give satisfactory answers
to the three questions. China was represented for the first time by Mr.
Liu Changchun in the Los Angeles 1932 Olympics; China dispatched a
40-member team to attend the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 for the first
time; China’s Beijing will host the 29th Olympics in August 2008.
I would like to stress that the Olympics is a sports gala of the
world. It not only meets the aspirations of the Chinese people for the
past 100 years, but also unites the world, inspires people of different
faces and races, and ensures the Olympic Games remain the dream for
Q:What do you think of the support extended by other countries
and people towards the Beijing Olympics?
A:During the preparation period, we have been overwhelmed by
the good wishes from around the world and moved by the friendship as
well as support extended to us.
The International Olympic Committee, the International Sports
Federations and National Olympic committees, Sports Ministries, athletes
and volunteers in various countries, —they have all made their
contributions to the Games. Because they believe, to hold a successful
Olympic Games is the shared responsibility of the whole Olympic Family.
We will never forget the people who rendered valuable support during
the Olympic Torch Relay on five Continents. We can feel their
enthusiasm, their pride, their joy and their expectation towards the
Olympiad. We will never forget IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and
leaders and people of many states who advocate Olympics should not be
This is to uphold the Olympic Charte. We will never forget the
athletes across the world who keep on training over the years. It is the
moment they deserve to enjoy the culmination of their hard work and
We will never forget the Sri Lankan Government, political parties,
friendly organisations and media who have also voiced the strong support
and wished the Beijing Olympiad a great success. President Mahinda
Rajapaksa and Ministers of sports will lead the Sri Lankan sports team
to China very soon.
Q:How many programmes are there in the Beijing Olympics?
A:The Games include the 28 summer sports currently on the
Olympic programme, comprising 302 events in total.
The Games will introduce some new events such as men’s and women’s
10,000 meter swimming marathon.
The 28 sports are athletics, rowing, badminton, baseball, basketball,
boxing, canoe, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics,
weight lifting, handball, hockey, judo, wrestling, swimming, modern
pentathlon, softball, yaekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting,
archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.
Q:What are the concepts of Beijing Olympics ?
A:Three concepts have been adopted for the Beijing Olympic
Games, namely, the Green Olympics, the High-tech Olympics and the
Green Olympics: Environmental protection is a key prerequisite for
designing and constructing the Olympic Games’ facilities.
Environmentally friendly technologies and measures are widely applied in
environmental treatment to venues.
Urban and rural afforestation and environmental protection are
enhanced in an all-round manner. Citizens are encouraged to make “green”
consumption choices and urged to actively participate in various
environmental improvement activities.
High-tech Olympics: The latest domestic and international scientific
and technological achievements are used. Beijing has upgraded its
scientific innovative capabilities, boosting the industrialisation of
high-tech achievements and popularising their use in daily life.
The Beijing Olympic Games is to serve as a window to showcase the
city’s high-tech achievements and innovative strength.
People’s Olympics: It is an opportunity to advance cultural
exchanges, to deepen understanding and friendship between the peoples of
It will be a time to promote healthy interaction between individuals
and society and to foster mental and physical health. In line with the
“people-oriented” and “athletes-centred” ideas, Beijing will spare no
efforts to provide quality services and to build a natural and social
environment that will satisfy all the participants.
Q:What is the theme slogan of the Beijing 2008 Olympics?
A:‘One World One Dream’ was unveiled as the theme slogan of
the Beijing 2008 Olympics on June 26, 2005.
It is a profound manifestation of the core concepts of the Beijing
Olympic Games. It reflects the values of harmony connoted in the concept
of “People’s Olympics”. It is our belief that peace and progress,
harmonious development, living in amity, cooperation and mutual benefit
are the common ideals of the people throughout the world.
It is simple in expressions, but profound in meaning. It conveys the
lofty ideal of the Chinese people and the people from all over the
world. It voices the aspirations of 1.3 billion Chinese people to
contribute to the establishment of a peaceful and bright world.
The English translation of the slogan is distinctive in sentence
structure. The two “One”s are perfectly used in parallel, and the words
“World” and “Dream” form a good match. The slogan is simple, meaningful,
inspiring, and easy to remember and read.
Q:What are the official mascots of the Beijing 2008 Olympic
A:Fuwa serves 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.
Fuwa also embodies the natural characteristics of four of China’s
most popular animals — the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the
Swallow — and the Olympic Flame.
Beibei is the Fish (blessing of prosperity; blue), Jingjing is the
Panda (lush forest and the harmonious relationship between man and
nature; black), Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame (the Olympic Flame and the
passion of sports; red), Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope (reflects
Beijing’s commitment to a Green Olympics; yellow) and Nini is the
Swallow (good luck, Beijing’s ancient name: Yanjing; green). The colours
of the Fuwa represent the five rings of the Olympic Emblem.
When you put their names together — Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni — they say
“Welcome to Beijing”.
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.
Q: What are the advantages for Beijing to host the 2008
A: There are many advantages for Beijing to host the 2008
Olympics. I would like to just cite some of them. China is a country
with the largest population. It is stable in terms of politics and
social security. China’s sports cause has witnessed great progress.
Beijing is a famous historic and cultural city in the world. The
Chinese Government and people support Beijing to host a high-level
Olympics with distinguishing features. Beijing has the capability to
host a successful Olympiad.
Beijing has rich experiences in hosting large events. Beijing has the
facilities to host the Games.
Q:How many co-host cities are there in the 2008 Olympics ?
What are they?
A: There are six co-host cities of the Beijing Olympics. They
are Tianjin (for football matches), Qinghuangdao (for football matches),
Shanghai (for football matches), Shenyang (for football matches),
Qingdao (for sailing event) and Hongkong (for equestrian event).
Q: How many gold medals did China win at the 28th Olympics?
How many in total has China won in the history? How many gold medals is
the Chinese team expecting to win this year?
A:China won 32 gold medals at the 28th Olympics and ranked 2nd
in the gold medal list just after the US which got 35 gold medals.
Altogether China secured 112 gold medals since the Los Angeles Olympics
The 2008 Olympics is special for the Chinese athletes, because
Beijing is the host city. A Chinese Olympic delegation of 1099 members,
among which 639 are athletes, has been established.
This is the largest one in Chinese history and they will participate
in all the competitions of 28 Olympic sports.
The Chinese team will try their best to gain as many medals as
possible. At the same time, we believe the most important thing in the
Games is not the triumph but the struggle; not to have conquered but to
have fought well, and the athletes must learn to respect and to
cooperate with people from many nations.
Q:What would you say to the Sri Lankan sports team for the
A: Sri Lanka is a country of rich sporting legacy. As early as
in 1948 when the country gained independence, Duncan White brought home
a Silver Medal from the London Olympics for the 400-metre hurdles event.
Since then, the Sri Lankan sporting heroes have once and again made your
country and people proud in a series of regional and international
To my knowledge, eight athletes have been chosen to represent Sri
Lanka at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Susanthika Jayasinghe, Captain of the 8-member contingent, won a
Silver Medal in the women’s 200-metre sprint event at 2000 Sydney
I believe, together with the whole team, she will give the Sri Lankan
people another chance to realize the dream in Beijing.
The spirits of unity, friendship, progress, harmony, and fair play
will be fully demonstrated during the Games.