1. October 2018. It would be easy to come to Nanjing and miss the city’s quiet Olympic district altogether. It doesn’t show up on any must-see lists and there are no major historical sites. But as it happened Jaylin and I were staying in the Expo Center Hotel and had the entire Olympic zone right on our doorstep. So of course we put a morning aside to explore the park’s key Olympic sights, amazing architecture and learn about Nanjing’s efforts to become “a world sport city”.
2. October 2018. In August 2014 Nanjing became the second city to host The Summer Youth Olympic Games, an event which saw over 3500 sportsmen and women from 203 nations come to the city to compete in 28 sports. By the end of the proceedings China had topped the medal table, with a highly impressive 78 golds, 38 silvers and 25 bronzes. This eye-catching square, opposite the luxury Somerset Serviced Apartments, stands in tribute to the spirit of international friendship, with a silver flagpole dedicated to every country that took part.
3. October 2018. It’s fun to stroll around the square trying to guess the different countries based on just the flags alone. Luckily, considering how crap I was at this game, you can also get conformation of what’s what as each pole provides the country name in both English and Chinese.
4. October 2018. Nanjing international Youth Culture Center is just one of the park’s amazing buildings, home to a large theatre as well as conference and concert halls. It was designed by the British group Zaha Hadid Architects, who were also behind the equally extraterrestrial Galaxy Soho Mall in Beijing. Apparently there’s still a huge amount of empty space within the building, which currently has a shopping mall in the works due to open in early 2019.
5. October 2018. Another cool building is this Visitor Center, which was originally used as the athletes’ official dining hall back in 2014. Nanjing Youth Olympic Park is located in the southwest of the city and is best accessed from the nearby subway station Yuantong (Line 2 Red – take Exit 4), directly opposite Nanjing International Expo Center. Look out for my upcoming articles on the park’s key sites, including The Olympic Museum, The Nanjing Eye and The Jumeirah Hotel.
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