Changing China

Giant on the move

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Inside the Bird’s Nest


Workers make final preparations at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, in BeijingPicking my way through chaotic traffic, dust and unmade footpaths on my way to the Bird’s Nest stadium this morning, I had a flashback to the Olympic Stadium in Athens four years ago.

The difference was that when I was stumbling through the debris in Greece, it was just a few days before the Games rather than the 114 days that remain before the Opening Ceremony here in China.

Almost lost among the thousands of words written about the torch relay during the International Olympic Committee’s visit to Beijing last week were continual statements of confidence that the athletes were going to experience a top class Games this summer with facilities that few would have seen the like of before.   Flag poles can be seen next to the track at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, in Beijing

If the Bird’s Nest is anything to go by, that assessment may not be far off the mark.

Bird’s Nest to hatch



On Wednesday, reporters will have a first chance to get inside the completed Bird’s Nest National Stadium, where some dreams will come true but many more will be dashed at the Olympics.

It’s been two years since I set foot in the stadium, which was then just a concrete bowl surrounding a muddy oval all shrouded in a twisting, dull, steel mesh.