I am a huge fan of the Olympics because they combine some of my greatest passions: athletic competition, international travel, and, of course, unscrupulousness. In fact, one of my favorite parlor tricks is to name all the members of the 1996 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team. (Tip: Don’t forget Amy Chow. Everyone always forgets Amy Chow.)
For all the other Olympics fanatics out there, Budget Travel has a terrific assortment of links designed to prepare you for the 2008 Summer Games in China. They detail the nuts and bolts of making it to Beijing, like how to obtain a visa, where to stay, and how to purchase tickets for the Games. They also showcase some of Beijing’s newest landmarks (check out the bird’s nest known as the National Stadium) and offer some pointers on Chinese etiquette. Finally, there’s a terrific slideshow documenting all the changes the country is undergoing to prepare for its time in the spotlight.
For even more on the most rapidly changing city in the world, in the most rapidly changing country in the world, take a look at Ember Swift’s feature from several months ago, A Canadian in Beijing.