BEIJING, June 23, 2017 (Beijing 2022) – Friday is the International Olympic Day.
June 23, 1894 in Paris – The International Olympic Committee was founded, marking the birth of the Olympic spirit and the Olympic Movement;
July 13, 2001 in Moscow -- Beijing won the rights to host the 29th Olympic Games;
August 8, 2008 in Beijing -- the Olympic flame was ignited in the Bird’s Nest, making real the Chinese nation’s 100-year aspiration for hosting the Olympics;
July 31, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur -- Beijing was awarded the 24th Olympic Winter Games, and became the first city in the world to host both summer and winter Olympics.
Today we’d like to take you to the Dongsi Olympic Community, a 1.53-square kilometer neighbourhood in the east of the city centre, to see how Olympism has changed Beijingers’ lives.
Shan Chun, 82, started the Rainbow Workshop in 2007. About 90 workers weaved more than 3,400 truelove-knot bracelets by hand ahead of the 2008 Olympics, which were given to foreign guests as as a gift extending best wishes from the Chinese people.
From 2007 to 2009, Shan’s workshop received foreign guests from over 40 Asian, African, Latin American and European countries and regions.
Each copy the handicrafts made by the workshop is Shan’s treasure.
“It took us nearly two months to work out the Olympic Rings. We wanted to convey the Chinese people’s message of building a harmonious world for common prosperity,” she said.
Ma Shuling, in her 60s, leads a Tai Chi team grouping retired people. The elderly come to practice Tai Chi at 8 a.m. everyday in the Dongsi Olympic Park.
“We’ve been doing so since 2008. The number of our teammates has grown from a few to more than 100. ” she said.
“Practicing Tai Chi has made us physically stronger and mentally healthier. The 2008 Olympics have completely changed our lives,” she added.
A local resident named Liu Xianlong is an Olympic activist.
He went on a trip of communicating Olympism after Beijing won the rights to host the 29th Olympic Games. By August 2008 he had visited almost every corner of the Chinese territory and collected signatures and written wishes of more than 30,000 people on a 2008-meter-long scroll.
On July 31, 2015, Liu decided to start another journey and prepared another scroll for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
He said he will present to the world the two “giant scroll dragons” when the winter Olympics opens in 2022.
“In 2008 I rolled out the 2008-meter-long scroll on the Great Wall. It was so magnificent. I’ll finish the 2022-meter-long scroll by 2022 and give the world another big surprise,” he said.
Upon winning the 2008 Olympics, Beijing chose Dongsi to house its first office area. The Dongsi Olympic Community has since then incorporated Olympism into the community development.
Li Zhengming, who was previously responsible for building the Dongsi Olympic Community, said the neighborhood now has a sports and culture centre covering 4,800 square meters, which hosts over 700 sports and cultural activities involving 160,000 people each year.
“It was not easy to decide to build such a big centre in an old neighborhood. But it was a right decision. Olympism has been deeply rooted here since the sports and culture centre was put into operation,” he added.
At the entrance to the Dongsi Olympic sports and culture centre stands a stone sculpture, on which a motto -- “The glory of the ancient Olympics lies in beauty and dignity” – is inscribed.
Today, the words have become a practical goal in the heart of every local resident – to build a more harmonious, healthier and happier community.