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Qingdao Olympic village officially opens

by Xinhua News Agency on 28 Jul 2008
Opening Ceremony Qingdao Olympic Village Xinhua - China Daily

The Qingdao Olympic village officially opened on Sunday with 14 sailing teams including Japan, Brazil, Spain and China moving in.

'We will try our best to provide a safe, comfortable, cozy and pleasant home for athletes,' said Zang Aimin, head of the Qingdao Olympic village and executive vice-president of the Sailing Committee (Qingdao) of Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

'They can also experience oriental culture and Qingdao characteristics here,' he added.

Decorated with Chinese paper cuts, water paintings and kites, the dwelling district for the Olympic sailors has special display room for folk culture, where craftsmen perform Chinese traditional arts like sugar painting, paper cutting and metal sculpting. It also has a Chinese painting learning area where athletes and visitors can learn calligraphy. They can also taste a special Qingdao tea in the tea ceremony area and relax in the Chinese massage room.

'The service here is fantastic. Every detail is impressive. The volunteers are perfect,'

said Lilian Fiedler, logistic official of Brazilian Olympic sailing team, whose 21 staff have checked in the Olympic village.

'Our star sailor Robert Scheidt got a room with the number '8'. I guess that's the luckiest number in China. We will have good luck here, I believe.'

Apostolos Karnoutsos, coach for the Finn category of the Greek Olympic sailing team, said he was satisfied with the distance of the village to the sailing marina.

'It is just minutes of walk. Last time in Athens, I lived in my own apartment, because it was much closer to the marina than from the Olympic village,' he said.

Located in the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center, Qingdao Olympic village is the closest to the Olympic venues among the three Olympic villages for the Beijing Olympics.

Its 400 rooms will accommodate 700 athletes and officials from more than 60 countries and regions for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta on Aug. 9-23.

Forty-three sailors and thirty officials from ten countries and regions, including Britain, China, Dominica, Uruguay, Hong Kong, Slovenia, arrived at Olympic co-host city Qingdao of east China's Shandong Province Monday, according to sailing committee (Qingdao) of BOCOG.

Kotenkov, team leader of Russian sailing team, said when he landed at Qingdao international airport Monday afternoon that the Russian sailors to participate in the eleven Olympic sailing events were all young people. 'We expect for two medals this time,' he said.

Australian sailor of tornado class Darren Bundock had been to China for five times and been training for three years for the sailing events. 'I have no concrete object for the competitions but to win,' he said with confidence.

According to Qingdao Olympic Sailing Committee, at least 295 sailors and officials from forty-two countries and regions had arrived at Qingdao as of 5:00 p.m. Monday.

'The number of arrived teams was increased greatly from Sunday and it would have another climax just before the opening of the events', said Feng Xiao, sailing venue manager of the Arrival and Departure Center of Qingdao Olympic Sailing Committee.

'But the number does not include those who were not received by our staffs at the airport,' noted Wu Fan, airport manager of the Arrival and Departure Center.

According to BOCOG, a total of 399 sailors from sixty-two countries and regions had registered for the events, among which names of thirty eight sailors from fourteen countries and regions were not confirmed.

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