A new tract of forest will be added to Beijing's green Olympic
Led by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques
Rogge, officials from the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee and
more than 200 chefs de mission, who are in Beijing to
attend a seminar, planted saplings at the Beijing 2008 Olympic
Forest Park in the northern part of the city yesterday.
The saplings were tagged with the names and organization of each
country participating in the Games.
According to BOCOG officials, it is the first time that such an
event has been held in the history of the Games.
"(Planting trees at the Olympic Friendship Forest) is a good
symbol to leave for future generations. It not only represents a
key element in environment protection, but also a green lung and a
symbol of life," Rogge said.
"I'm convinced the Beijing Games will leave a green legacy and
an awareness of the importance of a healthy environment which will
remain for future generations."
More than 200 saplings were planted, which will go a long way
toward improving Beijing's environment, which is of major
"If you look around, you must have this concern (about air
pollution). I have not seen the sun, nor a blue sky up to now,"
Michael Vesper, general director of the German Olympic Sports
"I hope the BOCOG and the Chinese government will be able to
improve conditions ahead of the Games."
Vesper said, however, he remains optimistic after hearing
reports from the BOCOG.
"I'm very much impressed by how far the preparation work has
progressed. I hope the Games will be peaceful and successful with
no pollution," he said.
The officials also visited some of the main venues of the
They were very impressed by the National Stadium, also known as
the Bird's Nest, and the National Aquatics Center, also known as
the Water Cube.
"I have attended eight Olympic Games and the Bird's Nest is the
most outstanding venue I have seen. Its nickname is apt as it does
resemble a bird's nest," Otgontsagaan Jugder, secretary-general of
the Mongolia Olympic Committee, said.
"It tells the world that Asia has first-class facilities
(China Daily August 9, 2007)