POSTED: April 8th 2014

Nanjing 2014 YOG: Never worry about Chinese construction the government is watching

(L to R) Zhang Mengjie, Assistant Director Sports Department and Li Baoping, Director of International Relations Department / SFC
(L to R) Zhang Mengjie, Assistant Director Sports Department and Li Baoping, Director of International Relations Department / SFC

LAURA WALDEN in Belek / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The second edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Nanjing 2014 is counting down the days to the opening ceremony in August and the Chinese organizers are confident that they won’t disappoint. After hosting the Asian Youth Games last year the event served as their test run and now they are ready to greet the world’s youth from 204 countries.

Speaking at the SportAccord Convention in Belek the head of international relations, Li Baoping, and Zhang Mengjie, the assistant director of the sports department, met the press to drive home a few important points.

Li talked about the efficiency of Chinese builders and how the International Olympic Committee Games Director, Gilbert Felli, was pleased and amazed at the fast pace of completing the projects. “Never worry about the construction speed of Chinese people,” he joked. He attributes the driving force of the success is the strong government backing for the project and their insistence that the venues are completed on time.

In view of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic bid on the table how successful Nanjing is with the YOG will play a big part in how the voting IOC members will consider the campaign to re-host the Olympics.

This rings loud and clear as Rio 2016 is facing challenges with a construction strike this week causing setbacks on their already ticking deadlines to get venues completed for the World Cup this summer and the Summer Games.

As well Li mentioned that the city of Nanjing is not as well-known as some of the other places in China and they are taking measures to improve the quality of the air and the purity of the water.

He also talked about the safety of the city of Nanjing and that this played into the support of the people and the desire to make a good impression. Li noted that it was one of the safest cities in China.

Buenos Aires, the next host of the Summer YOG, will have to crack down on crime as even this reporter had all of my working equipment stolen during the IOC Session last year.

“During Games time I estimate that there will be about 3,000 media and reporters to spread the news about Nanjing 2014 around the world,” Li added.

“And there will be 104 young reporters identified by the IOC taking part and lending their fresh perspectives and use of new media,” said Zhang. “It will be very interesting how they see Nanjing and how the cover the event.”  

Organizing the Asian event was different than what will be required to host the YOG but the previous event served as a great sounding board to fine tune and improve the system. There were some challenges with transport, which also happened in Beijing, but they are focusing on getting things on track.  

According to the IOC there are a number of reasons why this second edition of the YOG will be hosted in Nanjing:

1. Nanjing is one of the oldest cities in China and served as the country’s capital through six different dynasties – including the famous Liang and Ming dynasties – beginning almost 1,800 years ago!

2. Throughout history it has been known by many different names, including Jinling, Moling, Jianye, Jiankang, Jiangning, Yingtian ,Tianjing and The Stone City.

3. The city is home to the sixth longest suspension bridge in the world, which stretches an incredible 1,418m across the Yangtze River. It would take top Olympic athletes almost three-and-a-half minutes to run across it!

4. US rapper Kanye West lived in Nanjing for a year when he was 10, as his mother was a visiting professor at one of the city’s universities!

5. Nanjing’s Zifeng Tower is the seventh tallest building in the world, reaching a whopping 450m into the sky!

6. With several universities and colleges of higher education, Nanjing is home to more than 100,000 students, making it a great location for the next Summer Youth Olympic Games!

7. Nanjing attracts thousands of tourists each year, who come to enjoy the city’s lush green parks, scenic lakes and mountains, and visit cultural sites such as the ancient city walls and historic monuments.

8. Nanjing also hosts several spectacular festivals each year, including the Jinling Lanterns Fair in January, the International Plum Festival in early spring, dragon boat races in May, and the Fuzimiao (Confucius Temple) Festival in September.

9. Food fans will love the local specialty – salted duck – which has been prepared in Nanjing for over a thousand years!

10. But our top reason why Nanjing is such an awesome city is the fact that it will host the second Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014!

Keywords · Nanjing 2014 · Youth Olympic Games · China · Beijing 2008 · Beijing 2022

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Laura Walden ()

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