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  • On the Scene: Beijing Ceremonies Could Set Record, Party Leaders Include BOCOG Chiefs


    The National Stadium will be the site for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics.  
    Record-Breaking Budget for Ceremonies?

    A report from a Chinese business newspaper says that the ceremonies budget for the Beijing Olympics could hit the $100 million mark. That figure could be the largest amount ever spent on ceremonies, although the budget for Athens may also have approached that figure.

    China Business News says the figure comes from a PricewaterhouseCoopers consultant who was interviewed for the paper. The analyst told the newspaper that 20 to 30 percent of the ceremonies budget could be attributed to unforeseen costs.

    Just last week, Beijing organizers announced that the operating budget for the Games has risen from $1.6 billion to $2 billion.

    Higher costs for security and appreciation of the Chinese RMB are said to be among the budget pressures.

    BOCOG President, Beijing Mayor Make Party Leadership

    BOCOG President Liu Qi and Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan are among the handful named to the powerful Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China. They were elected at the just-ended CPC Congress, an event that takes place every five years.
    Doubles table tennis champions Zhang Yining and Wang Nan at the CPC Congress. (Getty Images)  

    The group of two dozen party leaders includes President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Hu was re-elected as general secretary of the CPC at the congress.

    Liu Qi is general secretary of the Beijing branch of the CPC.

    Among the 2,200 delegates to the congress, were Olympic gold medalists Zhang Yining and Wang Nan (table tennis) and Du Li (shooting) and the coach of hurdles champion Liu Xiang. The youngest delegate was Tan Xue, 2002 fencing world champion and Athens silver medalist in the saber; she is 23.

    Coordination Commission Meets for Second Day
    The IOC Coordination Commission is meeting at BOCOG headquarters. (ATR)  

    The IOC Coordination Commission for the Beijing Games spent a full day in briefings and meetings with BOCOG staff Wednesday.

    The commission is holding its next to last visit prior to the Games next August.

    Based on comments from members of the commission, there do not appear to be major operational issues for this week’s meeting.

    Chairman Hein Verbruggen will report on the IOC visit at a press conference Oct. 24.

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