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Capturing the dream
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2005-06-27 09:56

"One World, One Dream" - symbolizing an Olympiad rooted in peace, unity and friendship - has been chosen as the slogan of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

After months of thrashing out ideas on what captures the spirit of the event, and sifting through suggestions from every corner of China and around the world, the Beijng Organizing Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) yesterday announced the four little words, which carry so much meaning.


The slogan of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games -- One World, One Dream -- is unveiled in Beijing's Workers' Gymnasium June 26, 2005 amid a performance of modern and traditional Chinese arts. After months of thrashing out ideas on what captures the spirit of the event, and sifting through suggestions from every corner of China and around the world, the Beijng Organizing Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) yesterday announced the four little words, which carry so much meaning. newsphoto]
From "New Beijing, Great Olympics", the slogan for the capital's bid to host the Games, to "One World, One Dream," the new slogan speaks volumes about how Beijing has broadened its horizons by further opening itself and the Games to the world.

The simple slogan is immensely rich in meaning. And its forming process crystallized ideas from over 200,000 people from home and abroad.

It all began on New Year's Day, January 1, 2005, with a one-month slogan suggestion campaign which attracted 210,000 entries via mail and e-mail from all over the world, including China's mainland and Hong Kong, the United States, Britain, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Cuba, Norway and Brazil.

Most of those who proposed slogans wrote both in Chinese and English. Some others submitted theirs in many other languages like Uygur, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

"The enthusiasm from so many people reflects much of our core concept of the Games - the People's Olympics," said Jiang Xiaoyu, BOCOG executive vice-president. "All of the 210,000 entries have made a great contribution to the final choice."

With the oldest aged 91, all the participants tried to interpret their understanding of the Olympic spirit in their suggestions.

"Carrying on the Olympic Spirit" is a slogan that was recommended by an 86-year-old blind woman, Guan Runting from Beijing.


The slogan of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games -- One World, One Dream -- is unveiled in Beijing's Workers' Gymnasium June 26, 2005 amid a performance of modern and traditional Chinese arts. After months of thrashing out ideas on what captures the spirit of the event, and sifting through suggestions from every corner of China and around the world, the Beijng Organizing Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) yesterday announced the four little words, which carry so much meaning. newsphoto]
"After Beijing won the bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, I always thought of making a contribution to the Games, and the slogan collecting from ordinary people offered me such an opportunity," said the pensioner. "In my opinion, the Olympic spirit means peace, unity and friendship, which are in line with the pursuit of Chinese people. Last year's Olympic Games best showed the combination of Chinese spirit and Olympic spirit that our athletes and disabled athletes all did good job."

Guan was not alone in her enthusiasm for the 2008 Games. Some residential communities and schools even organized small-scale campaigns to gather ideas for a possible slogan.

The Olympic culture research centre of Beijing Union University held their own brainstorming sessions among senior students in the economics department, after which 25 students submitted 38 slogan suggestions to BOCOG.

"The sessions helped promote the Olympic spirit among the university students," said Yang Dong, an associate professor of the university. "They might not get their creations selected, but the activity itself encouraged them to get more involved in the preparatory work."

After careful classification and recording, 800 suggested slogans were shortlisted by an appraisal panel before February's Spring Festival. That number was later whittled down to 100.

"The last 100 suggestions were gone through by groups of Olympic experts, foreign language scholars, English teaching experts, ancient Chinese language experts, foreign consultants and public relations professionals," said Jiang.

"Joyfulness, aspiration and cultural integration were typical themes of the proposed Olympic slogans, which expressed a wide variety of sentiments. Many of them were excellent in terms of imagination, implications, wording and eloquence."

Among all the proposed themes, "Live in Harmony," which conveys one of the traditional Chinese cultural concepts of uniting the world in friendship and peace, was approved to be the basic concept of the slogan by most of the experts.

"Harmony has rich meaning and classic Chinese characteristics," said Fan Jingyi, Dean of Tsinghua University School of Journalism and Communication. "However, it lacks a modern dynamic and the competitive spirit of sport. What's more, due to the different cultural backgrounds of people throughout the world, it is less powerful in Western cultures than it is in China. Therefore we dropped the word from our final list."

Global perspective

As rounds of discussions continued, the scope of the Beijing organizers considerations became more and more wide and they moved their vision from the original narrower China-centric concept to a more global one.

In that, some foreign experts and surveys concerning the impressions of people from around the world about Beijing helped a lot in the eventual deciding process, said Zhang Ming, Director of BOCOG Culture and Ceremony Department.

George Hirthler, who is regarded as one of the leading creative directors at work in the Olympic Movement at present, imparted his own deep understanding of the Olympic Games to BOCOG and came up with some constructive suggestions.

"Having developed so many good friendships with people in China, particularly my friends at the bid and at BOCOG, I knew the theme had to reflect the desire shared by millions of Chinese and millions of people around the world for greater friendship, harmony and peace in these trying times," said Hirthler.

"Among all the 210,000 entries, there were a series of conceptual directions that we liked very much, universal ideas about unity, dreaming, harmony, sharing and friendship."

After careful consideration and thinking over all the key theme words raised by people, Hirthler presented BOCOG with a strategy for using the theme as the foundation of the worldwide story of the Games.

Susan Pattis, CEO and president of China Click2 International Consulting conducted a survey by sending out 968 questionnaires to people in 66 countries all over the world.

"After receiving the invitation from BOCOG to participate in the slogan creation for the Beijing Games, I worked out the questionnaire with six-questions and sent it out through our experts throughout the world," said Pattis.

"In about ten days, we collected all the questionnaires and made a careful analysis. The results gave a strong impact on the traditional thoughts and inspired people here that the slogan should tell what we hope to share with the world.

As the analysing process continued, three words began to stand out - one world and dream.

The first two express the theme of global unity, while the second conveys an aspiration, a hope for a better future.

"After five rounds of discussions among national experts and five rounds of discussions among international experts, and listening to suggestions from other specialists, we finally came up with - 'One World, One Dream'," said Zhang.

"It expresses the idea at the heart of the Chinese peoples great quest to host the Olympic Games and its great dream of uniting the world in Beijing in 2008."

Source:China Daily 
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