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Everyone Has A Role to Play
    2008-08-07 22:41:04     CRIENGLISH.com

UNDP joins hands with BOCOG to celebrate and recognize volunteer contributions for the Games and development on Thursday, August 7. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

The 87-year old Olympics volunteer is so proud to play his part in the Beijing games. He helps with the spectators in the stadium every day.

In recent days, either on the streets, in the subways or at the Olympic stadiums, people, old and young, Chinese and foreign are seen in bright Olympic volunteer shirts busy serving the Games.

As people feel uplifted by their passion and devotion, many foreign visitors will also cherish them as special memories during their time in Beijing. Olympic volunteers have become ambassadors for Beijing and China as a whole.

On the eve of the grand opening for the long awaited Beijing Olympic Games, four outstanding Chinese volunteers were honored in a celebration aiming to praise those who have made a remarkable contribution to the Games and to boost the volunteering spirit for the future.

The event is jointly organized by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The oldest award winner is Sun Fangchui, 87-year-old. He has been volunteering in his community for the past thirty years and will serve spectators in the Olympic stadium during the Games.

Liang Suhui who has served the Olympics for a long time shared her happiness when she first got her wrist band, a symbol of the Beijing Olympic volunteers, after serving for 50 hours.

Zhao Du, 15, is the youngest person to receive an award. Having been inspired by an unknown volunteer who helped him back home when he got lost as a child, Zhao was determined to serve others. He often visits elderly citizens' homes, playing Chinese chess or performing crosstalk shows to entertain the seniors. He also records children songs and acts out dramas.

Xiong Shujuan, a girl volunteer from quake-hit Sichuan province joined the volunteer group for the first time after the quake and helped rescue other quake victims though she herself lost two of her relatives during the disastrous quake.

"Once you serve as a volunteer for one day, you will serve for a lifetime". Xiong said she was so grateful to people who lent a hand during the hardest time she promised that she would also provide help and motivate more people to join in as volunteers.

"No matter who wins the maximum number of medals at these games, one thing is clear-these volunteers will win the hearts and minds of visitors to Beijing," said Achim Steiner, the UNDP Executive Director, also United Nations Under-Secretary General Thursday.

He encouraged all the volunteers to help make the Games one of the best ever and also pointed out that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games mark a tremendous opportunity to promote volunteerism in China and throughout the world.

Mr Khalld Malik, UN Resident Coordinator in China praised Beijing for creating a platform for motivated and talented volunteers to meaningfully serve in the Games. Everyone has a role to play.

"It is my sincere hope the Olympic volunteer spirit of dedication, friendship and progress will inspire many throughout the world to encourage themselves to make a difference." Malik said.

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