Monday, August 6, 2007
Promoting the Games Home and Abroad
This evening the Beijing Olympic Organizing committee (BOCOG) welcomed 10 families to the Chinese capital.
Five were from China, five from overseas, including the United States, Argentina, Germany, and South Africa.
They were all winners of the "Olympic Families Tour Beijing" contest, where they had to write blogs about why they wanted to come to China and website users voted on which families should win. As one of the South African winners put it, "They [BOCOG] kept us busy writing all the time."
Having just arrived today, they are here for a one-week visit to see Beijing as well as Qingdao and Hong Kong, which are also hosting Olympic events next year.
Many expressed their enthusiasm for being here. One of the families already has the Atlanta Games under its belt and was eager to soak in more of the Olympic spirit in Beijing.
But it was the many Chinese families that were especially keen on being part of this contest.
One couple unfurled a 12-metre red banner from a hospital with hundreds of patients' signatures on it; a young boy expressed his wish of creating a painting to commemorate this event; and a physical education teacher mentioned that his birthday was the same day as the opening ceremonies.
The 2008 Olympics are definitely the pride of the Chinese and it's obviously shown on their faces and in their words.
Let's hope for their sake it goes off without a hitch.