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Beijing ready for Olympics - Chinese Envoy

Beijing is all set to host the 29th edition of the Summer Olympics, the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet, just seven days from now, Chinese Envoy Ye Dabo told the Daily News yesterday.

"All the preparatory work, including venue construction, competition organization, media operation, Olympic education and marketing, has been finished," Ambassador Dabo said in an interview with the Daily News.

"Everything has been done to welcome the 20,000 athletes, 30,000 media personnel, 7 million spectators and more than 80 heads of states or governments. In a word, Beijing is ready for the Olympics. It will welcome people from every corner of the world with smile."

The Ambassador said China would hold a high-level Olympic Games under the theme 'One World One Dream' with distinguishing features, leaving a unique legacy for China and world sports.

He explained that Beijing has built 12 new venues, expanded 11 existing ones and set up eight temporary ones. All of them were completed with good quality. Bird's Nest and the Water Cube, namely, the National Stadium and National Aquatics Center, have become the signature buildings for Beijing Olympics.

Bird's Nest will serve as the main venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It occupies 21.4 hectares, covering an area of 258,000 square meters. It is 68 meters high and holds 91,000 seats. The opening and closing ceremonies, Athletics and Football events will be held there.

Water Cube's Games-time construction area is close to 80,000 square meters, containing 17,000 standard seats, including 6,000 permanent seats and 11,000 temporary ones.

During Games, it will produce 42 gold medals in swimming, diving and synchronized swimming. After the Olympics, it will be converted into a multi-functional facility for sports, culture and recreation.

The project's air cushion structures are the first of their kind to be used in China and the largest and most complicated membrane system in any single project in the world.

The Ambassador also promised a 'Green Olympics'. A series of measures are taken to make sure that we have "Green Olympics".

Nearly 90% of the public transport have been transformed to use eco-friendly fuels and 20 per cent of the sports venues are power-supplied by wind and solar energy. A large number of trees have been planted. Many factories that may cause pollution were closed or removed from Beijing.

"We will never forget the Sri Lankan Government, political parties, friendly organizations and media who have also voiced the strong support and wished the Beijing Olympiad a great success. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ministers of sports will lead the Sri Lankan sports team to China very soon."

The Games includes the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic program, comprising 302 events in total. The Games will introduce some new events such as men's and women's 10,000 meter swimming marathon.

The 28 sports are athletics, rowing, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoe, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, weight lifting, handball, hockey, judo, wrestling, swimming, modern pentathlon, softball, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.

He said the 2008 Olympics is special for the Chinese athletes, because Beijing is the host city. A Chinese Olympic delegation of 1099 members, among which 639 are athletes, has been established. This is the largest one in the Chinese history and they will participate in all the competitions of 28 Olympic sports.

The Chinese team will try their best to gain as many medals as possible. At the same time, we believe the most important thing in the Games is not the triumph but the struggle; not to have conquered but to have fought well, and the athletes must learn to respect and to cooperate with people from many nations.

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