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Rachel Lu

Beijing's Olympics Venues – What Do They Look Like Now?

Credit: Reuters / David Gray

The Olympics is upon us again, and many may still have fond memories of Beijing’s debutante ball four years ago, a time of fun and Games with a capital G. China spent an estimated US$42 billion to host the Beijing Games and to build spectacular venues for the Games that were the envy of the world — but what do those venues look like now?

On July 13, one netizen (@法政时评) posted the following photos taken by Mr. David Gray of Reuters earlier this year on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter. The post generated almost 6,000 comments and more than 40,000 retweets in three days.

Most netizens interpret the photos as visual confirmation of what many had suspected — that the Beijing Olympics was an expensive 17-day carnival that wasted billions of Chinese taxpayers’ hard-earned yuans. @彭挺_樱花树下的家 tweets, “After seeing these ‘spectacular sites,’ my first reaction is to laugh, because it proves that the judgment of tens of millions was right [that it would turn out this way]; my second reaction is to vomit, because I want to throw up the national hubris that we were so proud of, and my third reaction is to cry, for the shameless waste of the wealth accumulated through the hard work of my forefathers and myself!” {{1}}[[1]]看到这些盛况,我的第一反应是笑,因为事实证明千万人的判断是正确的;第二反应是吐,妄图吐出曾经引以为傲民族自豪感;第三反应是哭,为我祖辈父辈以及我辈辛苦工作而积累起来的繁荣社会中无耻的浪费而痛哭![[1]] 

@林栗ll reminded users of the other “come-out” party, the 2010 Expo hosted in Shanghai: “The site of the World Expo also looks quite dilapidated now.” {{2}}[[2]]世博园现在也是满目疮痍[[2]] 甜心宝贝lily360 offers some cold comfort, tweeting, “What are you afraid of? Our government has the money. When the money runs out, we will print some more.” {{3}}[[3]]怕什么。政府有钱,没钱了,再印几张出来。[[3]]

@陈祥营007 wants to keep it in perspective: “That’s what Olympic venues look like after the Games in foreign countries too.” {{4}}[[4]]国外奥运场馆,举办完也都这样。[[4]] @作家陈岚 makes more constructive suggestions: “Please open the spaces to residents as places for sports and exercise or allow homeless people to stay with subsidized rent. Please follow up with other suggestions.” {{5}}[[5]]请开放它们,1、给市民做健身场所。2、廉租给无家可归者。大家还有其他建议请跟进。[[5]]

Credit: Reuters / David Gray

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Rachel Lu

Rachel Lu is a co-founder of Tea Leaf Nation. Rachel traces her ancestry to Southern China. She spent much of her childhood memorizing Chinese poetry. After long stints in New York, New Haven and Cambridge, she has returned to China to bear witness to its great transformation. She is currently based in China.
  • http://americanadyt.blogspot.com/ Dptp789

    I also wonder what the $750 million Embassy Baghdad will look like once the United States departs Iraq.

    Both countries can’t feed their poor but can fund foreign wars and Games!

  • http://americanadyt.blogspot.com/ Dptp789

    I also wonder what the $750 million Embassy Baghdad will look like once the United States departs Iraq.

    Both countries can’t feed their poor but can fund foreign wars and Games!

  • Pingback: Beijing’s Olympics Venues – What Do They Look Like Now? | Tea Leaf Nation « projectz

  • Shanghai Nobody

    Finally somebody has the balls to write this article. I just came back from a short trip to BJ and saw that they have still not managed to do anything about the bloody huge Olympic square other than put a fence around it.

  • Shanghai Nobody

    Finally somebody has the balls to write this article. I just came back from a short trip to BJ and saw that they have still not managed to do anything about the bloody huge Olympic square other than put a fence around it.