China's Olympic bid delegation celebrates after Beijing is awarded the 29th Olympic Games in Moscow on July 13, 2001. (Xinhua/Zhao Yingxin)
BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- What pops up into your mind seeing this picture?
22 years ago today, on July 13, 2001, Beijing won the bid for the 29th Olympic Games. From the 2008 Summer Games to the 2022 Winter Games, the Chinese capital has achieved an unprecedented feat of hosting dual Olympics and creating a legacy benefiting Chinese people for generations to come.
When then International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch announced "Beijing" at the 112th IOC session, millions of people swarmed onto the streets across China to celebrate this historic moment.
This photo taken on July 13, 2001 shows people in Beijing celebrating the successful bid of the 29th Olympic Games. (Xinhua)
The grand opening ceremony of Beijing 2008 at China's National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, impressed people around the world and helped them gain a better understanding of Chinese culture, which dates back more than 5,000 years.
Fireworks illuminate the night sky during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games held in the National Stadium on Aug. 8th, 2008. (Xinhua/Xu Jiajun)
Fireworks form in the shape of the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
After the Beijing Olympic Games, this landmark building has not been idle. It has staged many large-scale sports events, concerts and public activities.
Lionel Messi (C) of Barcelona is challenged by two Beijing Guoan players during a friendly in the National Stadium on Aug. 8, 2010. (Xinhua/Gong Lei)
This picture taken on June 30, 2009 shows a view of the "Beijing Bird's Nest Summer Concert" held at the National Stadium. (Xinhua/Jin Liangkuai)
On July 31, 2015, the IOC awarded the 2022 Olympic Winter Games to Beijing, making the Chinese capital the first city in the world to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
The Bird's Nest stadium captured the attention of the world once again when the 24th Winter Olympics opened at the venue on February 4, 2022.
Fireworks light up the sky during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing on Feb. 4, 2022. (Xinhua/Xu Zijian)
In 2008, at the "Water Cube", Michael Phelps of the United States wrote his name in Olympic history in 2008 as he grabbed eight gold medals in swimming. The iconic blue-bubble-surface National Aquatics Center also became a landmark in Beijing.
People walk around the National Aquatics Center, nicknamed the "Water Cube", in Beijing on July 30, 2008. (Xinhua/Sadat)
Fourteen years later, the "Water Cube" was turned into the "Ice Cube" to host the Beijing 2022 curling competitions, and the curling rink can also be converted back into a swimming pool, allowing visitors to enjoy both swimming and curling activities.
People skate at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing on Feb. 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)
At the National Indoor Stadium, China's gymnastics team won nine Olympic gold medals in 2008.
The cheers resonated 14 years later, as the National Indoor Stadium served as an ice hockey venue for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Players of China and South Korea greet each other after the Para Ice Hockey bronze medal at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games at the National Indoor Stadium on March 12, 2022. (Xinhua/Cai Yang)
After the Winter Olympics, locals' passion for ice hockey has continued in the National Indoor Stadium, with protagonists having changed from professional athletes to student players and enthusiasts.
Student players in action during a middle school ice hockey league on May 13, 2023 at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing. (Xinhua/Wu Zhuang)
Wukesong Sports Center, one of Beijing's basketball sanctuaries, hosted basketball games during Beijing 2008, where Kobe Bryant and LeBron James helped the United States reclaim the Olympic title.
Canada attend the award ceremony for the women's ice hockey at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Wukesong Sports Center on Feb. 17, 2022. (Xinhua/Meng Yongmin)
The basketball arena was temporarily transformed into an ice hockey rink during Beijing 2022. Now it serves as the home court for the Beijing Ducks, of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Thousands of fans come to Wukesong on game days and several choose to grab refreshments at the adjacent Huaxi Live Plaza, showing how the sporting arena is helping to boost the local economy.
A street pole vault competition was staged at Huaxi Live Plaza next to Wukesong Sports Center on June 6, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Zhonghao)
As one of ten major projects to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Beijing's Workers' Stadium was designed and constructed in 1959, becoming China's biggest multi-functional sporting complex at that time.
This photo taken on April 15, 2023 shows an aerial view of the newly-renovated Beijing Workers' Stadium. (Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin)
At the 2008 Olympics, Argentina beat Brazil 3-0 at the stadium and advanced to the men's football final. Last month, Argentina star Lionel Messi returned to the renovated stadium for an international friendly, opening the scoring early and steering Argentina to a 2-0 victory over Australia.
Lionel Messi (4th L) of Argentina celebrates his goal during an international friendly against Australia at Beijing's Workers' Stadium on June 15, 2023. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
Messi takes a corner during Argentina's win over Australia. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)
Apart from the stars' arrival, Workers' Stadium can boast some of the most die-hard football fans in China, who come out to cheer on Beijing Guoan in the CSL.
Beijing Guoan fans cheer during a 2023 Chinese Super League (CSL) match against Meizhou Hakka at Worker's Stadium on April 15, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Ga)
At the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, four Chinese athletes won gold medals in judo and taekwondo at the gymnasium of the University of Science and Technology Beijing. Now, this Olympic venue continues to serve the students, faculty and the public for exercise and training.
A group photo of Beijing Winter Olympics volunteers from the University of Science and Technology Beijing on December 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
The Olympic legacy is not just about the venues, as more and more sports enthusiasts are spontaneously imparting sporting skills to beginners.
At the Capital Indoor Stadium, which hosted volleyball events during the 2008 Olympics, and held short track speed skating and figure skating events during the 2022 Winter Games, 22-year-old Yang Xi, a refiner at Beijing 2022, now teaches children basic skating skills.
Yang Xi (above) teaches children skating at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on January 7, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhang Chen)
Over the past years, the Olympic venues in Beijing not only witnessed athletes' outstanding performances, but also the enthusiasm of the public to participate in sports activities and improve their fitness in China's endeavor to become a sporting powerhouse. ■