Beijing: Bird's Nest is Ready for the Olympics
The centerpiece of Beijing's Olympic construction, the Bird's Nest, is complete, according to officials. No word, though, on air quality, as every photo I see of this admittedly awesome structure is darkened by smog.
The 91,000-seat stadium will host the Olympics' opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletics events.
A network of steel girders gives the stadium its nest-like appearance. All 37 venues for the Games are now ready.
The International Olympic Committee has praised Beijing's preparations, but said air quality was a concern.
The Bird's Nest - or National Stadium - was designed by award-winning Swiss firm Herzog and de Meuron and Chinese architect Li Xinggang.
The design beat dozens of other entries in a worldwide competition held in 2003.
"The Bird's Nest is the last completed Olympic venue but the best," said project manager Tan Xiaochun.
The project was completed at a cost of $500m (£250m).
The stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 29th Olympiad, as well as track and field, and soccer events. On completion it will have a total capacity of 91 000. 11 000 temporary seating will be removed after the Game, leaving a permanent capacity of 80 000.