Chinese Vice Sports Minister responds to criticism of Beijing 2008 Olympic legacy

December 16, 2011

hospital helvetica,sans-serif;”>Yang Shu’an has responded to criticism of the fall-out from the 2008 Beijing Games and its environmental effect on the city.

The Chinese Vice Sports Minister has spoken out at a time when the Chinese Government are, once again, experiencing mounting calls to reduce the heavy pollution in Beijing.

This issue had been identified prior to the 2008 Olympics as a key concern, and, before the start of the Games, China spent more than $3 billion in an attempt to reduce pollution in the city. A number of factories were also closed in the hope of managing the issue.

At the time, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and Chinese Government asserted that an advancement in air quality would be a key legacy of the Games.

The level of smog in recent months has led many to query this promise and the Government is now facing calls from Beijing residents to put measures in place to fully monitor the issue.

Shu’an has claimed, however, that the opportunity to host both the Olympics and Paralympics four years ago has had a positive effect on the infrastructure and the environment in the capital of China.

“The legacies of the Games for the Chinese people and those living in Beijing are multifaceted, but the first two are an improved transport infrastructure and environment”.

“Everybody living in Beijing has realised the unique opportunities created by the Olympics and can see that the overall environment has improved”.

The Vice Sports Minister, did concede that there are “challenges to sustain the Olympic legacies” and cited environmental protection as one of them.