Security at the Beijing Olympic Games

Published Date: 8 August 2008

© IAEA Over 10,000 athletes are competing in more than 300 events during the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. As for many global events, security is an integral component to the Olympic Games' planning. With the Olympics bringing packed stadiums and jammed subways to Beijing, keeping the Games safe is foremost on the minds of Chinese authorities. Through advisory missions and training exercises, the IAEA is helping Chinese authorities to enhance nuclear security measures in time for the Olympics. Participants engage in classroom time before testing skills through real-life exercises. One of 12 newly constructed venues, the Beijing National Stadium, or 'Bird’s Nest' as it is colloquially known, was the site of a nuclear security training exercise in preparation for the games. Meetings between IAEA experts, Chinese authorities, and other international experts were held far in advance of the Games. International cooperative efforts are integral to the prevention, detection and response to a nuclear security threat. At major international events like the Olympics, radiation detection equipment is used to sniff out any potentially nefarious activity where fans enter the Games' venues. Security personnel are trained how to use equipment for detecting radioactive material. During the Games and for other large-scale international events, security staff are deployed to help spot suspicious activity. Beyond the China Olympics, IAEA-supported training and guidance has helped other countries – including Greece, Brazil and Germany – keep major global events safe and secure.