Grand fireworks and spectacular choreography brought the Beijing Olympic Games to a close on Sunday; and China by then had fulfilled its commitments to the world, as the Games was lauded as one of the most successful in Olympic history. Guangzhou Daily published an article on August 25, stating the Games have left nine treasures to the world.
1. A more mature public in sports
The Olympics has awarded something more valuable than the 51 gold medals it seized at the Games. The article pointed that Team China has created the best record ever since its attendance at the Olympics; but more importantly, Chinese spectators matured and became more rational by hosting the Games: the Olympics serves as a 'growing-up ceremony' for Chinese spectators, as was described in the article. This can partially reflects the fact that the Chinese nation has built confidence; and as result, become more tolerant. At the Games, they cheered for every wonderful performance, but never said boo to a poor show. They clamored after the winners and encouraged the losers.
2. Awareness of environmental protection enhanced
In terms of air quality, Beijing has materialized its promise to guarantee a green Olympics, as the air quality index since August has all met the standards. More than 50 percent have met first grade standards, according to the Beijing Municipal Administration of Environmental protection.
In the meantime, national awareness of environmental protection has been greatly enhanced by hosting the Games. Calls for "energy-conservation and emissions reduction" are well-known to every ordinary citizen in Beijing; and are shining on billboards across China. The Chinese people have built up an unprecedented awareness for environmental protection; and a strong desire to improve environmental standards.
3. A driving force for the economy
The successful bid for the Olympics in 2001 adds Olympic factors to China's sustained economic growth, propelling the increase of infrastructural investment in the host city and other supporting cities and spurring the development of some Olympics-related fields and industries. In 2001, China's annual GDP was less than 11 trillion yuan in total; while in the first half of 2008, the total volume of its annual GDP already exceeded 13 trillion yuan.
Experts estimated that direct revenue from the Beijing Olympics totals approximately U.S. $2 billion. If Olympic-related industries are included, the total economic influence spurred by the Olympics will reach U.S. $71.7 billion. China's economy, since its opening three decades ago, has been growing into its full size and vitality.
4. A showcase for Chinese culture
When Beijing applied for the Olympic bid in 2001, it vowed that China would like to exhibit its splendid 5,000-year history to the world if Beijing were granted the 16 days to showcase.
Since April this year, China has been launching the "2008 Beijing Olympic Cultural Activities" to display China's wide arrays of culture and promote exchanges between different cultures. The cultural activities will last until September; and so far, there have been 260 performances and 160 art exhibitions presented. More than 2,000 artists from over 80 countries have savored Olympic moments on the commonly built cultural stage.
5. A diplomatic feast
Eighty-six heads of State and international dignitaries attended the opening ceremony, which also chalked up a record in Olympic history. U.S. President George W. Bush also made history as the first U.S president to show up to an Olympic opening ceremony. Ordinary Beijing citizens thought it was just their luck to see so many of the world's VIPs coming and going within a fortnight.
Half of the world leaders gathered in Beijing and enjoyed a diplomatic feast on the sidelines of their attendance at the Olympics. The Games has been used by these policy makers as a golden opportunity to extend goodwill to one another.
6. Media gala
The Beijing Olympics has welcomed over 20,000 licensed media staff and more than 5,000 unlicensed journalists, and 67 main stream media across the world placed the Beijing Games in the forefront of their coverage. The Main Press Center (MPC) and the international Broadcasting Center (IBC) are respectively the largest media services centers of their kind in Olympic history. The coverage of the Beijing Games has gained TV ratings of 21.5 percent, second only to the coverage of the Atlanta Olympics. Additionally, China's openness and transparency in information services were also widely touted for the duration of the Games.
7. Public security tightened
An 110,000-strong public security force composed of policemen, armed police forces and paramilitary troopers, along with volunteers, worked day in and day out in a bid to turn out a safe and successful Olympics.
Security has always been a top priority internationally, for hosting the Olympics; and China has guaranteed a safe Olympics in this volatile international situation by initiating a security command system at three levels—State, Olympic sites and venues.
8. A new look in city construction
Since 2001, during the years of preparation for the Olympics, Beijing has input 280 billion yuan into the general layout of the city, including investment in infrastructure, energy, traffic and environmental improvement. So far, the subway grid linking the entire city has been completed with a total length running 150 kilometers. The Beijing's facelift has also come as a benefit to ordinary citizens.
9. An army of volunteers
More than 1.7 million people served as volunteers, serving 2,940 posts at the Games, which was also a record in Olympic history. Through the Games, more and more Chinese in different age groups began to realize the importance of volunteer jobs and offered to join the army of volunteers. This could effectively boost China's volunteer cause, which is still in its infant stage.
By People's Daily Online