The Beijing 2008 Olympics Games

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 June, 2007, 12:00am


A dancing Beijing

The organisers of each new Olympic Games put much thought and effort into their logo because it is that single design that will represent their ideas across the world. The logo of the Beijing 2008 Olympics shows an athlete running or dancing against a red backdrop. This simple and effective design was chosen from more than 2,000 logos sent in to a judging committee. When Jacques Rogge, the International Olympics Committee president, saw the Beijing 2008 logo, his response was approving. Mr Rogge told Beijing: 'Your new emblem immediately conveys the awesome beauty and power of China which are embodied in your heritage and your people.' The Beijing 2008 logo is an instant success, and once the Games begin it will become the most powerful logo in the world.

1. What is a 'logo'?

a. a single design that represents an organisation to anyone who sees it

b. a short film that explains the aims of a particular organisation

2. How many logo designs were submitted to the Beijing judging committee?

a. 20,000

b. 2,000

3. What does the adjective 'approving' mean?

a. saying or thinking that something is good

b. strongly disliking something

Only 410 days to go


What does it mean?

You shouldn't need anyone to explain to you what a logo means. The whole point of an effective logo is to express meaning without words. What do you see when you look at the Beijing 2008 logo?

The Beijing logo is a seal, a symbol of promise that has been part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. The lively red of the stamp is China's national colour. On the seal is a figure of a dancing athlete with open arms inviting everyone to join China in the Olympic celebrations. For more than 5,000 years, calligraphy has expressed the grace and beauty of Chinese culture and art. The simple lines of the 2008 Olympic logo reflect the graceful and fluid movement of the calligrapher's brush. 'Dancing Beijing 'is one of the most powerful logos of recent Olympiads. There is no doubt that the 2008 Olympic logo proudly represents China. Could you say the same about the 2004 Athens or the 2012 London logos? Have a good look at them and see what you think.

4. Which words in the text have the following meanings?

a. producing the effect that is wanted

b. a small piece of gummed paper that you buy to stick on a letter if

you want to send it by post

c. beauty of movement


Has London got it wrong?

The Olympic Games never stand still. While the finishing touches are being put in place for the Beijing 2008 Games, the initial stages of the 2012 Games are being rolled out in London. Back at the beginning of June, the 2012 London logo was unveiled, but the Olympic chiefs were not prepared for the shouts of protest that greeted it. The logo for the 2012 Games cost a colossal HK$6 million to produce and took a team of designers a year to create. And what did the people of the UK think about the emblem that is to represent their country's staging of the Olympic Games? They hated it, calling it a 'mess' and a 'disgrace'. A top London designer thought it was 'hideous and puerile' and an online petition to scrap the logo attracted 48,615 signatures in the first three days. Where do the organisers of the 2012 Games go from here? Do they stick by their choice of logo or bow down to public demand and change the design? What do you think they should do?

5. What was the reaction of the UK general public to the 2012 London Olympics logo when it was first unveiled?

a. supportive

b. hostile

6. What does the adjective 'puerile' mean?

a. silly and childish

b. beautiful and effective


My Olympic fact file

1. The 2008 Beijing logo is a stamp made by a (seal / designer).

2. The ink of the stamp is red because this is China's (civic / national)


3. The figure on the logo is an athlete (standing still / in motion).

4. The recently revealed 2012 London logo has caused much

(controversy / pleasure).

5. The general response of the UK public to the logo has been

(positive / negative).

6. The Olympic chiefs in London (agreed / did not agree) to change

the logo immediately).