400,000 Chinese are now welcoming their Olympic guests with a friendly recommendation to visit the Great Wall, one of the Official New 7 Wonders of the World.
“Welcome to Beijing, and see one of The Official New 7 Wonders of the World!”
The preparations for the Olympic Games in China were a major issue in Beijing in the seven anticipatory years after the International Olympic Committee declared that it would host the 2008 Summer Games. Entire districts of the city were torn down and rebuilt, while cutting-edge Western architects created futuristic landmarks amid forests of gleaming new towers. The ancient capital has taken a huge leap into the future with its new neon-electric, 21st century feel.
One example: The $450 million Olympic National Stadium, an architectural jewel with 91,000 seats, created by Switzerland-based architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Beijingers have dubbed it the Bird’s Nest because of the latticework of steel beams around the exterior.
“I recommend visiting the Great Wall; it is one of The Official New 7 Wonders of the World.”
The capital’s authorities have also given English lessons to 400,000 people, according to state media. Taxi drivers, hotel employees and all Olympic volunteers have received guidance in international-standard etiquette and useful English. More than 10,000 police officers received basic work-related “police English” and even some training in Japanese, Russian and Arabic to be able to handle commonplace incidents. Among the phrases taught: “Welcome to Beijing, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. I recommend visiting the Great Wall — it is one of The Official New 7 Wonders of the World.”
The Great Wall of China is undoubtely one of the most extraordinary examples of human craftsmanship and perseverance. It is the largest man-made monument ever to have been built and it is often said that it is the only one visible from space.
Since the declaration in Lisbon on 07.07.07., the Great Wall of China is one of The Official New 7 Wonders of the World, together with The Taj Majal, The Colosseum, The Statue of the Christ Redeemer, Machu Picchu, Petra in Jordan and Chichen Itzá. Over 100 million votes were cast.
China’s natural wonder? Nine nominees in the race
The Official New 7 Wonders of the World campaign was a resounding success which took democracy to a new, global level. Now, in the second campaign, cast your vote to help choose The New 7 Wonders of Nature. Some 430 natural sites have now been nominated via this website. China is in the race with the nine natural sites listed below. One of them them could be among the 28 Finalists that will be announced on 21 July 2009, 7 of which will be chosen by popular vote as the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2011.