good luck Beijing diving finals

It’s been far too long since I last updated, but I didn’t have enough memory on my laptop for new pictures! However, now I have a brand new and ultra-chic Iomega flash drive to store my mp3s and photos, so I can update again.


A few weeks ago in February, we went to one of the Good Luck Beijing events, the women’s 3m springboard diving final held at the Water Cube 水立方 (real name: Beijing National Aquatics Center 北京国家游泳中心)


Popularly thought to be a test run for the Olympics, there were certainly some problems that did not encourage us to think that the actual Olympic events would be well-organized.

In all fairness, the first problem was hardly a fault of the Olympic organizers. After getting off at the Beiyuan Lu Bei stop on Line 5, currently the closest stop near the Olympic Park, our taxi driver took us to the Natatorium after we told him the official name of the Water Cube in Chinese. That’s because he did not know the official name of the venue; he only knew it as the “Water Cube.” So make sure you know how to say “Water Cube” in Chinese–it’s shuǐlìfāng, by the way.

Once we made it to the Water Cube, we were dropped off by what appeared to be the entrance right on the road. The whole area is under heavy construction, with thin fences, unpaved roads, and construction materials strewn around. Not only was the area not particularly welcoming, the entrance was not actually the entrance. It was the staff entrance.

In order to find the actual entrance, we walked further down the road, where some handwritten signs pointed the way to the entrance. It was difficult to see this because it was nighttime and there wasn’t much light on the road.

Once we found the actual way into the entrance, we continued to walk. And walk. The Water Cube has entrances on all four sides. Three of these sides were not open to the public, and it was extremely frustrating as we walked along the three sides, tantalizingly close as we passed the other entrances. Scott was convinced that the organizers did this to make attendees appreciate the grandeur that is the Water Cube. Of course, we ended up at an entrance that was extremely close to the staff entrance that was right on the road.

We ended up being late to the event by about 20 minutes, because we spent so much time searching for the entrance. This easily could have been minimized by simply opening up the other entrances and not forcing people to go around the entire Water Cube.

Once we actually entered the Water Cube, it went much more smoothly. We were quickly guided to our seats by the friendly Good Luck Beijing staff. Unfortunately our seats by the swimming pool were rather far away from the real action, in which Wu Minxia narrowly upset infamous diving diva Guo Jingjing for the gold.


As I don’t know anything about diving, and can’t tell the difference between a jump that is worthy of a gold and one that isn’t, the real focus of the night was visiting the Water Cube itself. It’s a gorgeous venue from the outside, especially at night when it is lit up from within. Inside, the exterior is echoed with bubbly glass elements and white walls.

Venue aside, the Good Luck Beijing events certainly suffered from some organizational problems. It’ll be interesting to see how these are smoothed out in the next few months before the madness really descends. Good luck Beijing, indeed! You’ll need it for the Olympics.

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