To many people in China, the 2008 Summer Olympics means much more than just an international sports event. Tens of thousands of urban construction projects are underway in this three-thousand-year-old city. Among the many large construction projects, there are numerous small preservation projects taking place quietly in Beijing's narrow streets. It is widely believed that the Beijing Olympics could be a political or social catalyst for protecting the physical integrity of heritage sites. At the same time, however, this support from the government and the public may also turn out to be a force to accelerate the process of gentrification and "beautification." Thus, the city could actually lose its cultural authenticity and integrity in the name of preservation. This paper examines actions taken to protect heritage sites in the context of the Beijing Olympics. I will analyze how a mega event like the Olympics can impact historic resources and to what extent preservation could benefit from this type of event.