Jul 18, 2008

Olympic park tour

The other day the weather was especially sunny, so I took a lunchtime bike ride through the Olympic area to see how stuff looks a few weeks before the big event.

The Olympic stadium looks nice and shiny on a sunny day. I think it's a great looking stadium.

Although I like the stadium, some people still joke that it resembles a squat toilet. (See this.)

Here's the Water Cube, taken through a hole in the chain linked fence. This is about as close as I'll be able to get for the next couple months. Swimming and diving tickets were extremely hard to get. I think they've been allocated to the Chinese apparatchiks, since swimming is a good indoor event they can watch in relative comfort.

The Water Cube and the stadium together.

Water tower? SWAT sniper tower? Post-modern Olympic phallus? Who knows.

The roads near the Olympic Village are closed to cars, so it was the perfect place to go biking around. It looks like a typical apartment complex that's been fenced off. The security appears very similar to that of the embassy compounds in Sanlitun: chain fence, some guard posts, and few entry points. It looks like the athletes can walk into the Olympic park area without having to go through the outside public areas.

Check out the gaggle of athletes lining up to go through the Olympic village security check:

Street view of some of the Olympic Village apartments. I assume they're going to sell these apartments to regular people when the Olympics are over. Do you remember how disgusting the boy's locker room used to smell in high school? I can only imagine how rank these apartments are going to be after a month of sweaty clothes and wild parties.

A Chinese military police (武警) under his McDonald's patio umbrella. I heard they have unlimited free McDonald's junk food for all the athletes inside.


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