Press conference on operation of Olympic venues

A press conference on operation of Olympic Venues is held at the 2008 Beijing International Media Center (2008 BIMC) on August 20. Yao Hui, deputy director of the Venue Management Department of BOCOG briefs the press and takes questions. presents live coverage of the press conference. Full Coverage  In Pictures  Back to Live Cast

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  • Press conference on operation of Olympic venues


  • A press conference on operation of Olympic Venues is held at the 2008 Beijing International Media Center (2008 BIMC) on August 20. Yao Hui, deputy director of the Venue Management Department of BOCOG briefs the press and takes questions. presents live coverage of the press conference.


  • Li Honghai:
    Dear friends from the press, nice to meet you all. Welcome to this press conference in the next hour or so we'll focus on the operation of the Olympic venues since the opening of the Games. The operation of the Olympics venues since the start of the Games has been praised by the IOC officials, coaches and athletes from various countries as well as the spectators. Today we are honored by the presence of Yao Hui, deputy director of the Venue Management Department of BOCOG and Ms. Su Yan, chief of the Venue Management Department of BOCOG they will provide with some information and then answer your questions. First I would like to invite Mr. Yao Hui to make an opening statement.

    2008-08-20 11:56:46

  • Yao Hui:
    I really appreciate your coming here. I am going to provide you with some information but first I will clarify the concept of Venue Operation for you. It is the basic mode to ensure good organization of the Games. It's a management and service project whereas different target groups can carry out business in a convenient manner. We aim to provide the same level of service at different competition venues. Compared with Sydney and Athens Games we've articulated our own vision of venue operation which focuses on the competitions by relying on the venues with local support.

    2008-08-20 11:58:50

  • Yao Hui :
    Peculiar to the Olympic Games is: first, in each venue we have a main team in charge of operation; second, we provide tailor-made services to different groups of target clients; thirdly, we've established different zones and designed scientific routes for personnel and vehicles and strictly abided by those rules; fourth, we ensured vigorous management in preparation processes; fifth we conducted a number of rehearsals firstly through the Good Luck Beijing test events; sixth, we put emphasis on command control and communication during the Games; seventh, we delegated decision-making power to staff on the front line of management. These are the facts unique to BOCOG.

    2008-08-20 12:02:19

  • Yao Hui :

    As of today, the competitions first started on August 6 when we had football matches; since then the venue operation has generally been smooth and successful and has been praised.

    Some 11,194 from 204 countries and regions participated in those competitions; some 21,000 accredited reporters came to report the Games and over 260,000 staff members volunteers and contract personnel attended and served those competitions. These people have been very dedicated and the daily turnout or attendance rate has been over 99.5 percent. Since the opening of the Games we've served some 34,000 athletes, 28,000 officials and nearly 100,000 journalists and over 4.3 million spectators.

    2008-08-20 12:05:15

  • Yao Hui:
    At the initial stage of the Olympic Games, for those games which opened quite early in the morning or closed quite late in the evening the venues were not quite full but as the games progressed the situation has been improved and no major security or public order incidents have occurred in area of competition venues. Nearly 200 million hits were registered on official website of the Games. By today over 12, 700 athletes have been staying in Olympic Village. Over 6,500 journalists have stayed in media village. Over 1,600 officials stayed at Olympic Family Hotel. Some 1,110 accredited media organizations stayed at the Main Media Center and over 120 broadcasters stayed at main broadcasting center.So far 14 competitions have been completed and 205 golds, 206 silvers and 232 bronzes have been awarded.The Chinese delegation currently has 43 golds. Over 30 world records have been broken during the Games.

    2008-08-20 12:06:20

  • Yao Hui :
    Now what have contributed to the successful and smooth operation of the venues? I think the credit must go to the State council, Beijing Municipal government, the full support of Beijing residents, the hard work of the people working there at the venues, the selfless contributions of all volunteers, the Olympic Committee, International Sports Federation, the BOB and the warm enthusiasm of spectators.We had a meticulous plan and a scientific division of labor, standardized games, sound communication, good city operation support and local support and so on. In addition, the high quality of the Chinese spectators and the infrastructure at the facilities also contributed to the success and this point was fully recognized by foreign media who have praised the high quality of spectators.

    2008-08-20 12:07:11

  • Yao Hui :
    IOC President Jacques Rogge saluted the BOCOG for its excellent job, saying Beijing has done better than previous host cities. He thought the open ceremony was spectacular. Since Aug. 16 Rogge cancelled the daily consult meetings between IOC and BOCOG leaders. The last such meeting will be on Aug. 23. This has been unprecedented in Olympic history. It shows the IOC has no problem with the operation of the Games. The presence of many international VIPS and party and state leaders in China also shows that the venues are safe and the competitions have been well organized.

    2008-08-20 12:08:38

  • Yao Hui :
    We'll focus on following areas of work during the remaining days of the Games: We'll continue to ensure success in venue operation; we'll ensure an equally spectacular closing ceremony; we'll try to provide good service for those athletes and foreign dignitaries who are leaving China; we'll focus on preparation for Paralympic Games; and finally we'll enhance communication and coordination with other relevant authorities.

    2008-08-20 12:09:11

  • Yao Hui :

    So in short, major success has been achieved. This would not have been possible without the leadership of the Chinese state leaders, without the full support of all ethnic groups in China, and without the strong support of IOC and international community.

    In days ahead we will continue to provide careful and considerate service to ensure the remaining competitions and events will be equally successful.

    I have just provided you with a short update on venue operation. Now I'm ready to answer your questions.

    2008-08-20 12:09:38

  • Li Honghai:

    Thank you, Mr. Yao Hui for your opening statement. Now we'll move to questions and please limit yourself to one question at a time.

    2008-08-20 12:10:15

  • MASTV:
    Can you tell us after the Olympics Games is finished if some foreign enterprises will take over the operation of the venues and will all of them be commercialized? The other question is: Now we know the Bird's Nest is looking for companies so that the Bird's Nest can be named after those companies. Can you tell us about that aspect?

    2008-08-20 12:10:30

  • Yao Hui:
    The venue management department is responsible for the Games time operation. We enjoyed exclusive usage right during Olympic Games which means that the venue team will use those venues during the Games. The post-Games utilization is within the dominion of the venue owners.

    2008-08-20 12:11:01

  • Phoenix TV:
    It is reported that the trademarks of some non-sponsor companies were covered by tapes at venues or around the venues. Can you tell us the aim or effect of such moves?

    2008-08-20 12:11:28

  • Yao Hui:
    During the Olympic Games, according to IOC rules, we have a clear venue policy which stipulates that during the Games all the items should be provided by the sponsors of the Olympic Games; as for other items bearing non-sponsor trademarks -- those trademarks should be covered. So now the operation in the venues is good.

    2008-08-20 12:11:59

  • Voice of the Straight:
    So far the Olympic Games have been very successful, so is the operation of the venues. So I'm wondering if the civility of the audience also contributes to this.

    2008-08-20 12:13:09

  • Yao Hui:
    Yes. I indeed agree with you. And now the participation of the general public in the venues is a great encouragement to the athletes and a great support. The enthusiasm and good manners of the spectators encouraged all the athletes to achieve excellent results. For example, in this Olympic Games we broke a lot of world records such as 100 meter sprint and Phelps's 8 gold medals in water cube. I believe those results can be partly attributed to spectators in Bird's Nest and other venues. We had about 80,000 spectators there; we had worries that during the preliminary sessions the spectators would be fewer but now it turned out that our concerns are unnecessary. Now in the morning the attendance rate in the bird's nest exceeded 90% and in the evening we had a full house. So indeed the enthusiasm of the spectators does support the excellent operations of the venues.

    2008-08-20 12:14:34

  • The China Press, USA:

    In the test events because of rain, the Bird's Nest stadium was found to have roof leaks. A few days ago there was also a heavy rain in Beijing, so did the same problem occur during the rain and if not, how did you solve this problem?

    2008-08-20 12:15:23

  • Yao Hui:

    As I said just now, we carried out 46 Good Luck Beijing sports events to test facilities. We found problems and did the repairing and renovation, and fine-tuned every detail concerning the hardware facilities. So all the problems including the one you mentioned were resolved before the opening ceremony.

    2008-08-20 12:17:31

  • CCTV:
    For the facilities in the venues, we want to know if there were any problems that occurred to either the operators or the athletes both during the games and during their preparations?

    2008-08-20 12:18:34

  • Yao Hui:
    All those equipment we were using has been tested during Good Luck Beijing Event. All have been appraised and recognized by all international sports federations and now those sports equipment have guaranteed the operation of venues and recognized by athletes. We have not received any complaints about it.

    2008-08-20 12:18:56

  • Shenzhen TV:
    After the Opening Ceremony now we're very interested in the Closing Ceremony. We knew you had a lot of time to prepare for the Opening Ceremony, and there were no events going on when you were preparing for the opening ceremony. So how much time do you have between the last event and the Closing Ceremony. Do you have enough time to prepare and install all the equipment for the Closing Ceremony?

    2008-08-20 12:20:03

  • Yao Hui:
    Actually I'm not in a very good position to answer this question because we have a department which is in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and the Paralympics. However as far as I know the ceremonies have been prepared since long time ago and they have done an excellent job at the open ceremony, which is a very good example of their efforts. At the same time a lot of my colleagues at this department are preparing for the closing ceremony and the opening for the Paralympics and after the opening, the equipment has been moved into Bird's Nest gradually and we are confident that they will present an excellent closing ceremony for us and everything will be prepared.

    2008-08-20 12:23:02

  • Chinese Biz News, USA:

    My question is how much equipment used at the venues is from the USA and what's the proportion of Chinese equipment?

    2008-08-20 12:24:18

  • Yao Hui:

    You did raise a very professional question. I think probably the sports department will give you a better answer. As far as I know, all the equipment are up to the standard of various international athletic federations. Some of them were imported from abroad and some others were domestically produced. Concerning the specific figures you asked, I don't have them on hand. The sports department will provide you with more info on this after the Games.

    2008-08-20 12:25:01

  • China Business News:
    We know that currently the Bird's Nest is looking for a company to be named after. How is the bid process going on and has any Chinese companies joined the bid?

    2008-08-20 12:25:50

  • Yao Hui:
    I just answered this question so here I'd like to repeat it. After the games, BOCOG will finish exclusive usage rights. So after the Games the usage rights will belong to venue owner, which is National Stadium Company and it will have the decision as to what company it would like to be named after.

    2008-08-20 12:26:09

  • Xinhua News Agency:

    My question is about attendance rates. Could you tell us which venues or which events have lowest attendance rates and could you tell us why?

    2008-08-20 12:26:48

  • Yao Hui:
    Just now I have briefed you on that, the enthusiasm of spectators has been rising and now with more finals the attendance is on the rising curve. In many sessions we have full houses; however at the initial stage of the Games indeed the attendance rate at some venues was not very high for the following reasons: first, the interests of the spectators; second, we have a ticket policy which means a lot of tickets have been sold to spectators and some have been distributed to sponsor officials and the media and they have their own preference to chose to go to what they want to go.

    2008-08-20 12:28:22

  • Yao Hui :
    And schedule also influences attendance: some events start very early in morning or very late at night, for instance, tennis is a high demanded event but some of the events go until 3 AM so spectators may get tired. Last reason, we have some through tickets, so you can attend many sessions and some start early and finish late, so some holders get tired and go out of venue to relax or come very late; and since you can watch different sessions so sometimes holders go to other venues to watch other events and those are the reasons why we had relatively low attendance rates for a few events at the beginning of the Games.

    2008-08-20 12:29:43

  • Worker's Daily:
    You just mentioned there are operation teams responsible for operations. So what's the number of staff members in each team? And how many departments do the teams concern? You also mentioned the operation has been very smooth. So could you provide more details on this? For instance, how can you ensure the evacuation of spectators after an event can be carried out in an orderly manner?

    2008-08-20 12:30:43

  • Yao Hui:
    Just now I have briefed you on features of venue teams of Olympic Games. Basically we follow previous games' practices and take into consideration of Chinese characteristics. Major differences between this and other venue teams are as follows:

    2008-08-20 12:33:28

  • Yao Hui :
    In the past, venue teams consisted of only a venue manager and competition manager. For the Beijing Olympic Games, apart from those, we also have deputy venue managers for competition, service site managers, media managers, secretaries of local support, and also a secretary general. In addition, we also have different functional areas which are supported by volunteers. Ever since the design stage, we have tried very hard to have a good support structure and human resources plan so that during the Games, 90 percent of all the problems could be resolved at the venue level.

    2008-08-20 12:35:48

  • Yao Hui :
    And we focus on empowering venue teams and representatives of venue mangers. So for instance, functional area managers, deputy venue managers, and deputy managers can take care of all but major instances which will be forwarded to our main operations center. But most problems will be resolved at venues efficiently. As for your second question about evacuation -- I'm not sure you've been to Olympic venues or not, so I'd like to introduce the system. At Olympic venues we have very good design of evacuation of different flow lines. They have their own routes. Different groups of people go through their own routes, so evacuation will be very efficient and very quick.

    2008-08-20 12:37:08

  • Beijing People's Radio:
    There is a 12-day window between the closing ceremony of the summer Olympics and the opening of the Paralympic Games for you to change the hardware systems and staff members. Do you think this period is long enough and what are the most difficult tasks during the transition?

    2008-08-20 12:37:29

  • Yao Hui:

    I would like to ask my colleague to answer this question.

    2008-08-20 12:41:30

  • Su Yan:

    Different venue teams have their own detailed plans for the transit period. The transit period actually starts from Aug. 25 to the beginning of training for Paralympic athlete teams. This period could be even shorter for some venues, the Olympic Village in particular. All the venues have their own daily run sheet during that period, and may have a list of different priorities. We have had rehearsals of this transit work. So I believe we're ready.

    2008-08-20 12:41:46

  • Yao Hui:

    I'd like to add a few words. BOCOG is responsible for organizing both the games. It is the same case with each venue team. They got prepared for both. Moreover, in each team there is a special function area responsible for only Paralympic events. I could say that our planning work for the Paralympic Games had been completed before the opening of the Olympic Games.

    2008-08-20 12:43:06

  • TV Brazil:
    I would like to know would the Beijing Government open the venues to the public after the Paralympics? What would the place be transformed into? Would it be open during holidays or could it be a special place for citizens in the future?

    2008-08-20 12:45:00

  • Yao Hui:
    Thank you for your question. Still this is a concern with the venue owners since our department is only responsible for Games time operations, and after the Games everything will be belong to venue owners and they will have their own plans. As for plans as to whether the venues will be open to general public, I believe Beijing authorities will study this and give a satisfactory answer to the public.

    2008-08-20 12:46:33

  • Yantai Daily:
    My question is: Do you have free tickets during the Olympic Games? And what are the channels and targets for the distribution of those tickets?

    2008-08-20 12:47:25

  • Yao Hui:
    The ticketing of the Beijing Olympic Games is strictly according to IOC rules. As well as I know, we don’t have free tickets. All have been sold out or distributed to different client groups according to the rules.

    2008-08-20 12:47:44

  • China Press and Publishing Journal:

    Just now you mentioned there are over 21,000 accredited journalists. So what services have the venues provided to those journalists and what is the feedback from these journalists – in particular the foreign journalists?

    2008-08-20 12:49:22

  • Yao Hui:

    Actually the venues have received some 100,000 visits of journalists, and the media have been contributing greatly to the promotion of the Olympic Games. They are a very important client group to us. We have seven client groups for the Olympic Games: Athletes and team officials, technology officials or referees, Olympic family members including dignitaries, the media, sponsors, and spectators. For each group we have dedicated flow lines and worked out service standards and procedures. For media we provide the following services: they have their own work areas; we have provided catering services and internet access and also shuttle-busses for them. Some of the journalists may conclude their job very late – for example, at 3 or 4 o' clock in the morning – so our staff will extend their service hours. We are willing to provide the best services for all of the client groups.

    2008-08-20 12:50:42

  • The China Press, USA:

    We know that President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping and Premier Wen Jiabao have all been to the venues to see the events. Did they received special treatment or did they watch the games like ordinary spectators?

    2008-08-20 12:55:31

  • Yao Hui:
    Indeed the participation of the state leaders is a great encouragement for all the athletes and our operators. As for your question, I believe I can tell you more about the policies. The state leaders are accredited personnel. They are in the category of dignitaries, so they are in the category of accredited personnel, which is different from spectators. As for the policies and service standards we are providing, this is in line with IOC rules which set the standards for all the dignitaries.

    2008-08-20 12:56:24

  • Tianjin Daily:
    We know there will be a lot of garbage after the games are over. How do you handle this garbage?

    2008-08-20 12:58:10

  • Yao Hui:
    As for the waste disposal, I would like to say two points. First of all, I would like to thank all the spectators. After years of civility campaigns more and more spectators are observing good manners: A lot take away rubbish with them and put it in the bin, so that's why we can maintain a good atmosphere in the venue. We also have a waste cleaning department, so after the games they will coordinate with different contractors to clean the waste and take it out of the venue. This team has a good relationship with city operations and relevant city departments to ensure safe, fast channel for waste to be taken away to waste disposal areas in the city. We don't have rubbish everywhere: such a thing would never happen in the Olympic Games. I would like to thank all spectators again and some of the media and officials. A lot of people think we should issue a gold medal to all the spectators.

    2008-08-20 12:59:49

  • Li Honghai :
    This is the end of the press conference.

    2008-08-20 13:02:33


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