The dazzling Bird's Nest in the Olympic closing ceremony belonged to the whole world, while the empty Nest after the ceremony belonged to the volunteers. On the evening of August 24, when the last spectator of the closing ceremony had left, the National Stadium was astir again as the volunteers started a round of merry making to wind up 17 days of service in the center stage of the Olympics. Indeed, their smiles and sweat would become a legacy of the Beijing Olympics.
They walked out of the stadium in the small hours of the next morning. They were reluctant to leave, and several girls stood by the stands, gazing at the field and the seats which they had cleaned many times. After all, this was where they had sweated and toiled with passion.
The curtain had dropped on the Olympics, but the Bird's Nest continued to be the venue of a sleepless night for the volunteers. The fortnight they had spent there was destined to become a most significant episode in their lives. "This is going to be the most memorable place for me," one of the volunteers said as she gazed at the eclipse through the roof of the Bird's Nest.