News and Views on Tibet

Olympic preparations move into high gear

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BEIJING, Nov. 11 — Beijing’s Olympic organizers are racing against time to prepare for the 2008 Games, from round-the-clock work on constructing stadiums to planning the global torch relay, a senior official told China Daily on the eve of the 1,000-day countdown to the event.

“The coming 1,000 days are a crucial time for completion of the preparatory work,” said Liu.”We will race against time and do a solid job in every aspect.”

The organizers will focus on a host of crucial tasks in the last 1,000 days, including designing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games and organizing testing events in line with Olympic standards, according to Liu Jingmin, vice-mayor of Beijing and executive vice-president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

While speeding up the construction of stadiums and gyms, BOCOG will focus on the operation of these venues in the next two years, Liu said.

“We will apply the experience accumulated in the past four years to the operation of every competition and training venue as well as facilities in the Olympic Village in an intensive and comprehensive way,” Liu added.

Beijing has started the construction of all new venues for the 2008 Olympics and is expected to finish most of them in 2007.

The foundations for the futuristic National Stadium, designed in the shape of a bird’s nest, and the National Swimming Centre, in the shape of a water cube, have been finished. Construction on the main bodies of the buildings has begun.

BOCOG’s marketing programmes are also running smoothly, according to Liu.

BOCOG launched the Beijing Olympics Marketing Plan in September 2003, which consists of the Sponsorship Programme, the Olympic Licensing Programme, and the Olympic Stamps and Coins Programme. Ten Beijing 2008 partners and five sponsors have signed on so far.

Meanwhile, organizers will reveal the identity of the Olympic mascot tonight, with the panda and the Tibetan antelope as top candidates.

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