Preparations for Olympics
The Olympic Games is one of the most-awaited global events. Preparations for this event usually take years in order to ensure its success. Long before the actual Olympics, the host country undergoes meticulous preparations. Athletes are not the only ones who prepare for the game, but there are so many things that must be considered such as the protection for the very important persons (VIPs) and the general public. The host country needs to plan how to regulate traffic, address security threats and prepare for contingency plans in case of terrorists attacks before or during the Olympic Games.
The thoroughness and proper execution of these preparations and planning will ensure that the Olympic Games will also become successful. Hosting the Olympic Games is a big responsibility because the preparations alone take a lot of time, money, resources, and labor. When China won the bid in July 2001 to host the next Olympic Games, the country immediately began preparations for the sport infrastructure, which marked the intense seven years of preparation. It was reported that the country spent around $40 billion in the preparations alone (Peng, 2008).
China has made plans on releasing regulations that would outline behaviors at the venues, handling emergencies, and traffic control measures (Xinhua, 2005). The first step consists of building infrastructures and facilities. Hockey stadiums, skating rinks, bobsled run, gymnasiums and other buildings and facilities are built along with seats for the spectators. Also, there should be parking lots, heliports, concession stands and medical facilities (HowStuffWorks, Inc. , 2009). China has spent some of the $40 billion preparations budget in constructing a new airport terminal, three subway lines, and sports facilities.
One of the challenges that China faced before the actual Olympics was the concern about the air pollution. Authorities decided that during unhealthy air conditions, some events would be re-scheduled (Peng, 2008). In addition, an Olympic Village is also built to house athletes for the whole duration of the competition. The Olympic Village must have enough rooms for visitors, restrooms, restaurants and shops, buses and other transportation modes to carry everyone around the city (HowStuffWorks, Inc. , 2009). Aside from these, the host country must also consider the effects that the Olympics can have on the environment.
With the fact that Olympics is a large event, hosting one can cause negative effects to the environment. This is because of the large-scale constructions of new buildings, roads and other facilities. The pollution level increases when the number of humans and vehicles increase. Moreover, the environment is also compromised because of the high demand for natural resources. Furthermore, the Olympic venues utilize large quantities of air-conditioning and refrigerant formulas that have harmful effects on a global scale.
Some of the formulas used can destruct the ozone layer and can worsen global warming. As a response to these, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) committed to a “cleaner, greener Games. ” That commitment started with the Sydney 2000 Games which reported key achievements in the environmental aspect. These key achievements are energy conservation, protection of biodiversity, pollution management, water conservation, and waste avoidance (“Going for Gold,” 2000). Protection Olympic Games are usually attended by heads of states and government and royal personalities during the opening ceremonies.
In the recent Olympic Games at Beijing last year, the country reported that there were around 80 VIPs in attendance (Ke, Chongfang, and Huizi, 2008). More than 200 countries participated and about one billion people around the globe watched the opening ceremonies (Peng, 2008). In Salt Lake City in 2002, more than 1,000 athletes and over one million visitors attended the Olympic Games (HowStuffWorks, Inc. , 2009). Special committees are created to supervise the protection of athletes during the Olympics; as such, the International Olympic Committee is designated to protect the heroes of the Olympic Games.
As a response to the call to protect athletes, IOC has taken steps to achieve this goal. First, IOC created the Athletes’ Commission in 1981. The Athletes’ Commission’ goal is to participate in choosing the host city. It also submits recommendations during its meetings with the IOC Executive Board. Second. And in 1983, the Commission created the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is in charge of taking care of legal problems that athletes may encounter. Third, the Commission created the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999 which aims to protect the athletes’ health by preventing “scourge of doping in sport.
” Fourth, the Commission spearheads studies during the Olympics regarding traumatology and prevention of injuries. Furthermore, the Commission encourages researches on how to prevent injury and to maximize performance of the athletes. Fifth, the Commission created the World Olympians Association (WOA) in 1995 whose function is to promote the relationships between athletes around the world (International Olympic Committee, 2009). Security Concerns China has planned to erect fire stations, a police bureau, and security headquarters.
The country also considered implementing a new security system which ensured adequate measures and number of security personnel. Moreover, the 2008 host country consulted other host countries, security agencies, and organizations from different nations about traffic control, organization, and information technology. In line with this, China signed an agreement with Greece regarding security cooperation for the 2008 Olympic Games (Xinhua, 2005). Security is always one of the top priorities in every Olympic Games.
Even before guests arrive, the host country makes sure that safety is absolute. During the 2006 Torino Olympics, security was one of the concerns that affected the preparations and even the actual game because of the riots in the Muslim community. The Italian government has spent around $140 million for security alone in order to ensure tight security at the venues, and at the media centers and villages housing the athletes. Security measures include constant searching and inspection of bags and screening of people. In addition, there were even NATO jets scanning the skies.
These security measures were to ensure that there would be no serious problems to occur (CBC Sports, 2006). In line with this, authorities exerted the effort to be ready in case protesters tried to demonstrate and disrupt the Olympic Games. In fact, torch-bearers who carried the Olympic flame changed their routes to avoid the interference of protesters. Authorities were also especially mindful for any threats of riots from Muslims who were angered when some of European newspapers negatively depicted the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons.
The five athletes and five officials from Denmark, where the cartoons appeared first, received extra security (CBC Sports, 2006). During the Beijing Olympics, China has even called on the assistance of around 50 Chinese and foreign experts for the security work (Xinhua, 2005). Terrorism is the most concerning factor during Olympic Games. Thus, authorities made sure that security is tight to keep everyone safe. Venues during Olympics are fenced and guarded by security personnel. There are also periodic searches of things and vehicles for bombs.
There are also helicopters and radar planes scanning the skies. During the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, countless number of security guards, police officers, officers from the National Guard, and other military personnel were employed. Around 10,000 people were assigned to keep more than one million visitors safe (HowStuffWorks, Inc. , 2009). Past reports regarding the preparations made for every Olympic game showed that international terrorism was an ever-present threat. In the 2004 Olympics at Athens, Greece and U. S. officials conducted trainings in the years before the actual event.
As a response to Greece’s request for assistance, United States has also offered assistance and security for the American athletes, commercial investors, and spectators especially in the wake of the September 11 bombing. It cost $35 million in security from more than 20 entities and offices as support for the Greek government. In addition, agencies such as the Department of State, Defense, and Justice, and Homeland Security conducted security trainings. The Department of Justice and Energy offered crisis response assistance for the duration of Olympic Games.
Moreover, American corporate sponsors, athletes, and spectators were given special security (GAO, 2005). However, there can be instances when, despite the intensive preparations and provisions for security, security-related problems hamper the Olympics. Just several weeks before the Olympics at Beijing, problems erupted regarding security and logistical issues related to television coverage. Many host broadcasters were apprehensive about the possibility that China would check all of the would-be spectators. This could result to empty seats in the stands during the Olympics.
This could also affect officials and members of media as security and access restrictions would also apply to them. Security has been tight as ever in response to China’s fear of Western media, bureaucratic inflexibility, and paranoia as a result of demonstrations in Tibet (Korporaal, 2008). More importantly, Chinese authorities have prevented alleged Eastern Turkistan terrorists from infiltrating the event before the actual Olympics. In addition, eight alleged terrorists were identified by the United Nations; most of these terrorists sought to cause disruptions during the Olympics (Liyu, 2008).
As a result, security became the center of the decision-making during the last-minute preparations. Security matters have also affected the issuance of visas to foreigners and it affected business in China. In line with these, communication also became an issue due to security reasons. Any request should be put in writing; however, this policy was met with protests from the media. With little time left before the Olympics, the media people argued that they just did not have the time to put every single request in writing (Korporaal, 2008). Traffic Control and Transport Service
Weeks before the Olympics, the government ensured that it would exercise traffic control to maintain good air quality and traffic operations, which would be effective from July 1 to September 20. The municipal government would apply traffic restrictions on automobiles registered in Beijing. For instance, vehicles bearing license plates that end in odd numbers are banned from the streets during the even-numbered calendar days. On the other hand, license plates that end in even numbers are banned from the streets during odd-numbered calendar days.
This is called the odd-even license plate number system (The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, 2008). With the arrival of athletes and visitors, regulating traffic would be a big problem. Before the Olympics, China has tested a partial car ban in order to clear smog and ease traffic for the Olympics Games. The ban lasted for four days, and the system required an odd-even license plate number for the duration of the test. This was implemented to “take 1. 3 million cars off the road every day.
” Moreover, smog and traffic were the top problems for Beijing as the Olympics was drawing near (Michael, 2007). Aside from the partial car ban, the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau assured that transport services could meet the requirements for the Olympics. Authorities from the municipal level of government also ensured that the services and measures they took would satisfy public transport during the Olympics. With the implementation of the odd-even license plate number system, there have been improvements with the traffic conditions, especially on Olympic-designated traffic lanes.
There were only a few cases reported on accident and traffic jams. Wang Li, the director of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, assured that they have followed strict protocols and created an efficient system towards transportation system. Furthermore, Li reported that they were sure that transportation services will satisfy the athletes, tourists and visitors. The transport system would also include transportation services to the competition venues and other venues such as the Olympic Village.
There was an estimated 7,000 vehicles available for the athletes, technical officials and media people, members of the Olympic Family, and sponsors (The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, 2008). References CBC Sports. (2006). Olympic security concerns grow. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www. cbc. ca/olympics/story/2006/02/08/security_olympics060208. html GAO. (2005). Olympic security: U. S. support to Athens games provides lessons for future Olympics. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www. gao. gov/htext/d05547. html “Going for gold and staying green. ” (2000).
Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www. riverdeep. net/current/2000/08/083100_greenolympics. jhtml HowStuffWorks, Inc. (2009). How does a city prepare for the Olympics. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://express. howstuffworks. com/mb-host-city. htm International Olympic Committee. (2009). Protection of athletes. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www. olympic. org/uk/organisation/missions/athletes_uk. asp Ke, R. , Chongfang, Z. , and Huizi, L. (2008). Beijing offers Olympics template for developing countries. China View. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://news. xinhuanet. com/english/2008-08/25/content_9705853.
htm Korporaal, G. (2008). Security strangles the Olympic Games. The Australian. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www. theaustralian. news. com. au/story/0,25197,23855016-5014197,00. html Liyu, L. (2008). China identifies alleged “Eastern Turkistan” terrorists. China View. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://news. xinhuanet. com/english/2008-10/21/content_10229518. htm Michael, D. (2007). Beijing stops traffic in preparation for Olympics. News Right Now. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www. newsrightnow. org/articles/104/1/253/Beijing-Stops-Traffic-in-Preparation-for-Olympics/Page1. html Peng, G.
(2008). Beijing Olympics – China’s come-of-age show. China View. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://news. xinhuanet. com/english/2008-12/24/content_10551718. htm The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. (2008). Transport services and traffic control running smoothly for the Olympics. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://en. beijing2008. cn/news/official/preparation/n214488571. shtml Xinhua. (2005). Beijing underscores safety in preparations for Olympics. China Daily. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www. chinadaily. com. cn/english/doc/2005-12/29/content_507722. htmSample Essay of Edusson.com