by Rob Kothe
As an Olympic regatta draws to a close, there is a frenzy of badge swapping and memorabilia collection and buying. Today in the Qingdao media centre we’ve all been given a key ring. Yeah! Yeah!
The Qingdao Olympic Regatta Algae Keyring.
But this is a key ring with a difference. It’s clear that the Mayor Xia Geng of Qingdao Xia Geng, who is also chairman of BOCOG's Sailing Committee (Qingdao), has a sense of humour.
Since June, the Qingdao algae has become part of sailing history, as each day we’ve seen hundreds of fishing boats continuing to remove the green slime from the Olympic course area.
Now the 2008 Beijing Olympic sailing media, all have a branch of Qingdao algae, enteromorpha prolifera, encased in a polycarbonate sail.
It is the official Qingdao algae souvenir.
The explanatory card which accompanies it as perfect as the key ring.
'During June and July 2008, an unexpected large-scale algae bloom occured just off the shore in Qingdao, which posed a major challenge to the Olympic sailing competition. 8.3 million Qingdao citizens, along with the support of the whole nation when into battle and won a decisive victory over the encroaching algae. All levels of government, military and the general public have worked hard to ensure the successful removal of the algae by adopting a comprehensive scientific removal method. Qingdao has now returned to its exquisite beauty and the Olympic sailing competition is guaranteed to progress in a smooth fashion.'