By Andrew Liszewski
Is anyone else starting to get the idea that the upcoming Olympic games in Beijing will be memorable, but not because of the sporting events themselves? According to the official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the following items are prohibited at the Olympic Green venues.
In accordance with national law, like elsewhere in the country, guns, grenades, gun powder, explosives, and other dangerous articles in this category are forbidden. In addition, everyday objects that may potentially affect security, such as glass bottles, hot water thermoses, coolers, and other such items used to carry things cannot be brought into competition grounds. No banners or other material bearing slogans are permitted. With the exception of strollers and wheelchairs, no supportive equipment is allowed. Whistles, horns, radios, walkie-talkies, speakers, drums, sticks, or sharp objects that may be harmful are also not permitted. Sports equipment, suitcases, large bags, and professional camera equipment will not be allowed into the Olympic Green.
While most of the stuff is common sense, it seems that security will not be letting visitors bring in professional camera equipment unless they’re brandishing press credentials. As someone who exclusively switched to a DSLR a few years ago, I would hate to have to rely on a P&S camera, particularly if I paid to travel half way around the world to attend the Olympic games. People have been speculating that the ban is mostly to prevent photographers with large lenses from blocking the view of other spectators in the stands, so why not just ban large lenses? It’s not like they’re hard to spot at a security checkpoint. Unfortunately it’s not like this rule is going to change with a week left before the games, so if you’ll be attending, and have managed to score yourself tickets to an actual event, it looks like you’ll have no choice but to leave your gear in your hotel room.