Olympic Spots and Sports

In August 2008, Beijing hosted the Summer Olympic Games (the 29th Olympiad of the modern era), with the Para Olympic Games following in September 2008. The awarding of the Olympic Games to the city spurred a massive building boom of Olympic venues and some large scale and controversial clearing of several older residential and commercial neighborhoods to make way for the new infrastructure.

The iconic National Stadium in north Beijing took almost 5 years to build and is constructed of a mesh of intersecting steel beams. Also known as the “Bird's Nest”, it was the site of the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field events and football (soccer).

(China National Olympic Stadium also known as Bird Nest) China National Olympic Stadium also known as
The Bird Nest.

Swimming, diving and synchronized swimming competitions took place at the dramatic-looking National Aquatic Center. The blue building, nicknamed the “Water Cube” looks like a cube of suspended bubbles and is engineered of a self-cleaning membrane originally used in the aviation industry. The design is stunning, both in the daylight and when lit from inside at night.

Both the Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest are accessed via Subway Line 8 ; get off at the Olympic Green station.

Several of Beijing’s universities, including Peking University and the Beijing University of Technology, received new or improved sports facilities as a result of hosting Olympic and Para Olympic events.

Many of the outdoor water sports, including rowing, kayaking and marathon swimming, took place at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park in the north-east of the city just past Beijing International Airport.

The official Chinese Olympic Committee web site listing the venues and other information about the Games is at

A map showing the distribution of the Olympic venues through the city is at The map is clickable and provides addresses and photos of all the venues with the subway lines that go there.