Space age stadiums

Ever since Beijing won its bid to host the 2008 Olympics, some of the country's greatest architectural minds have been busy creating the arenas where the world's finest athletes will battle it out. Among the venues which have shot up in preparation for the Games is the National Stadium. Known as 'the Birds Nest', a reference to its latticework steel outer shell, this impressive building is the jewel in the crown of Beijing's new sporting venues. The 91,000-seater venue, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as all the athletics events, is so high profile it even appears on the country's banknotes

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