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The Beijing Olympic Games Closed
    2008-08-25 09:23:54     CRIENGLISH.com

  The 29th Summer Olympic Games closed on Sunday night in Beijing.

After 16 days of burning in the National Stadium, the sacred flame of the Beijing Olympics was doused at 9:24 p.m. on Sunday, after the Games were declared closed by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge and the Olympic flag passed to London, host city of the 2012 Games.

Fireworks and spectacular lighting kicked off the two-hour extravaganza Sunday night, summing up the glee and passion the games brought to Beijing.

Thousands of athletes marched into the National Stadium, better known as the Bird's Nest, waving their arms and flags, snapping photos of each other, hugging, and basking in the cheers of an ecstatic capacity of fans.

"These were truly exceptional Games!" hailed IOC President Jacques Rogge, before he declared the Games closed in front of 91,000-strong spectators, including Chinese President Hu Jintao who inaugurated the Games on Aug. 8 and dozens of foreign leaders and world dignitaries.

"Tonight, we come to the end of 16 glorious days which we will cherish forever. These were truly exceptional Games! Through these Games, the world learned more about China, and China learned more about the world."

"The fire of the Chinese people's passion to embrace the world will burn forever," said Liu Qi, president of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games (BOCOG), at the ceremony.

"The Beijing Olympic Games is a testimony of the fact that the world has its trust rested upon China. People of different countries and regions, different nationalities and cultures have formed with solidarity an Olympic family, in which they have deepened understanding and enhanced friendship. The Chinese people, teeming with enthusiasm, have honored the commitments they solemnly made. A green, high-tech and people's Olympics has left colossal and rich heritage in terms of both culture and sports."

Also on Sunday, Chinese President Hu Jintao held a banquet to welcome foreign leaders and international dignitaries who were to attend the Olympic Games closing ceremony.

Hu said in a toast that the Beijing Olympic Games have promoted the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace.

"The success of the Beijing Olympic Games is attributable to the concerted efforts of the Chinese people and people from the rest of the world. The glory goes to the Olympic Family, to athletes who have competed hard, to volunteers from different parts of the world and to friends the world over who have been involved in the Beijing Olympic Games in various ways."

The president also pledged that China would work hard to guarantee the success of the Paralympic Games, scheduled to open in Beijing in early September.



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What do you think will impress foreign visitors the most during the Beijing Olympics?
The friendliness of the Beijing people
The Water Cube and other Olympic venues
The Forbidden City
The Great Wall
Beijing "siheyuan" (Chinese traditional courtyard houses)
Peking Opera
Wangfujing Street
Beijing Roast Duck