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CRI Special --- Olympic Wrap Up
    2008-08-25 09:27:24     CRIENGLISH.com

  For the past 16 days, athletes from 204 countries and regions have upheld the Olympic motto of "Swifter, Higher, Stronger" with their spirit of participation and outstanding achievements. Remembering the most important thing about the Olympics is not to win but to take part, their efforts have encapsulated the slogan of these games; "one world, one dream".

As the curtain falls on the 29th summer Olympics, CRI's Wu Jia presents our special report on the closing ceremony celebrations….

After 16 days of competition, the Beijing Olympic Games drew to a close as the Olympic anthem once again sounds out across the National Stadium. Two weeks of passion and sport have reached a crescendo on Sunday night.

As we reflect back on two weeks of Olympic competition and friendship we have seen the world join together as one to watch and cheer an event that links all mankind.

"Swifter, higher, stronger" reflects the spirit of the Olympics and in the last two weeks many medals have been awarded and many records have been broken.

China topped the medal tally with 51 golds, 21 silvers and 28 bronzes, which is the country's best record ever in the Olympic Games.

At the closing ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Jacque Rogge thanked the people of china, all the volunteers and the Beijing Organizing Committee of the 29th Summer Olympics. He praised the athletes as true role models.

"You were true role models. You have shown us the unifying power of sport. The Olympic spirit lives in the warm embrace of competitive rivals from nations in conflict. Keep that spirit alive when you return home. These were truly exceptional Games!"

On August 13th, Chinese athlete Liu Chunhong claimed a gold medal in Women's 69Kg weightlifting. She broke the world record 5 times during that competition.

"I failed at my last attempt in 2004 at the Athens Olympics, that's why I was so excited that I succeeded at last. I felt my efforts over all these years had finally paid off."

Many athletes set new world records during the Games. Czech athlete Katerina Emmons won the very first gold medal and broke the Olympic record in the women's 10-meter air rifle event. Kirsty Coventry from Zimbabwe broke the world record in the women's 200-meter backstroke final. In the men's 10-meter air rifle competition, Indian athlete Abhinav Bindra captured his country's first individual gold medal. Mongolian athlete Maidan Tuvshinbayar won the men's 100Kg Judo gold. It's also the first gold medal for Mongolia.

Michael Phelps of the United States made history, claiming eight gold medals during these Games.

"When you have a big gold medal, it stays with you forever. You are always Olympic gold medalist. Birthday happens every year, and Christmas happens every year. You only get to be Olympic gold medalist, you know, so many times."

Usain Bolt is an athlete from Jamaica.

"I was not even worried about the world record. I did not even know I got the world record until after I've finished my victory lap actually. So one aim was to come here to be Olympic Champion and I did just that. So I was happy myself."

Bolt set a new world record time of 9.69 seconds in the men's 100-meter final. He also went on to claim a rare double – gold in both the 100 and 200 meters finals. These exciting achievements will always connect him to the Olympic Games in Beijing.

This is CRI's special wrap up of the Beijing Olympics.

Thousands of athletes have competed during these Games and while many missed out on medals they are to be applauded for their efforts. That embodies the main notion of the modern Olympics - the most important thing is not winning, but participating.

Sarhad Fatah is an official with the Iraq delegation.

"Journalists and people from all over the world followed the story of the Iraqi athletes. Although the situation in Iraq is volatile, our athletes have overcome many difficulties. Some of them have experienced death threats, while some have escaped assassination attempts. Nevertheless, they continued to train, in order to participate in these Olympics. They are the pride of Iraq and they have won praise from people all over the world."

Rubina Muqimyar is the only women athlete representing Afghanistan. She says she has fulfilled her goal to take part in the Beijing Olympic Games.

"I believed that I could achieve success at these Olympic Games. To participate in the Beijing Olympics was the most ambitious goal of my life. So, my dream has come true."

Wendy Hale is one of three athletes from the Solomon Islands. She competed in women's weightlifting and although she came last she has no regrets.

"I am really proud of being here in Beijing, and I am really proud to be in the Olympic tour. And this Olympic is my first Olympics. I am proud and happy that I am the only one weightlifter back in Solomon. I am really proud to be in my team."

Some athletes have inspired their audiences. Natalia Partyka, a disabled table tennis player from Poland, and Natalie du Toit, a disabled swimmer from South Africa are two such athletes. Partyka says she hopes that their experience will bring more confidence to people with disabilities.

"It is great that some disabled people try to play with some sports. I hope that me and the girl from South Africa can show them that impossible is nothing that if you want to do something. It is no problem. Just we have to try and we have to believe in ourselves."

You're listening to a special wrap up of the Beijing Olympics.

As the athletes have strived to achieve their best, the Beijing Organizing Committee has also strived to achieve its objectives by hosting a successful Olympics. Its concept of "a Green Olympics, a High-tech Olympics and a People's Olympics" has been reflected in these Games.

IOC official Gilbert Felli talks about his impressions of the Beijing Olympics.

"Again you've witnessed fantastic venues, we knew that. There is a beautiful field of play.

But what is the most important we are always concerned to make sure about the organization and parts of the sports go smoothly. And the relationship between the National official and International official goes very well. And we do not have any issues so far. And we are happy with that."

According to BOCOG, the 2008 Beijing Olympics have featured four characteristics-- Chinese elements, humanity, modern trends and mass participation.

Athletes and officials from all over the world have continually made favorable comments about many aspects of these games - from the overall organization, sports venues and facilities, opening ceremony, cultural activities, media services to security and the role of volunteers.

IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies has spoken highly of the organization of the Games.

"I think you'll see a picture that shows that is being done technically excellently, welcoming all the state holders and all the spectators. And we're very happy with that."

Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the IOC's "Beijing 2008 Coordinating Commission" has this to say about the media services.

"The Main press center is much more than just a place to work. For many of our friends in the media, it becomes their second home. As they work long hours providing all the latest news and stories 24 hours a day to their readers, their viewers and listeners. We wish to thank both BOCOC, because they've made great efforts to deliver excellent services for the press, such as providing virtually all that is needed for the media to make this their home for several weeks."

Volunteer services have left Australian tourist Belinda with a great impression.

"So many of them and they are so friendly and helpful and they point you in the right direction and it was raining the other day, and volunteer gave me their umbrella and they are being very helpful and I'm so happy. They are really nice people."

This is CRI's special wrap up of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Since Beijing won its bid to host the Olympic Games in 2001, the government has invested 140 billion yuan, or more than 20 billion US dollars, on environmental protection programs. The concept of a "Green Olympics" has not only changed the city's environment but has also enhanced local people's awareness of environmental issues.

Omar Mapuri, Tanzanian ambassador to China, shares his feelings about Beijing's environment.

"Beijing's air quality has improved significantly. The Chinese government has taken a series of measures to guarantee the quality of the air. When I arrived in Beijing, I saw many green belts around the airport and along the highways. It makes people feel comfortable and there are more trees in downtown areas."

In preparation for the Olympic Games, Beijing has also adopted the concept of a "High-tech Olympics". Numerous high-tech programs have been carried out. Take the world's largest steel structure, the "Bird's Nest" as an example. Technicians made many technological breakthroughs to create this building.

Wan Gang, minister of Science and Technology, shares his opinions.

"In order to host a high-level Olympics such as this, China has carried out major science and technology research and development projects. These achievements will create more economic and social profits through their application and promotion in the Olympic Games."

The International Olympic Committee predicted seven years ago that the Beijing Olympics would leave behind an unmatched legacy for China and for international sport.

Colin Moynihan is Chairman of the British Olympic Committee. He talks about the influence that this great event has brought to China.

"Certainly the quality of the facilities will leave a great legacy for Beijing. I think the reaction of people of China to sports and the Olympic Games has been amazing and I think that will raise the profile of sport in China to a level that it has never been before."

The Beijing Olympics is also a platform for international cultural exchange. What you are listening to is an African Kayamba band singing a famous Chinese song, "My Patriotic Heart".

During the games, more than 10 thousand artists from some 80 countries have gathered in Beijing, and given various performances. The performances have helped deepen understanding and friendship among people from all around the world.

The Beijing Olympic Games has also promoted the Olympic spirit. Before the games, the torch relay traveled around the world, covering a record distance and involving a record number of participants. During the games, more than 10 thousand athletes participated in various events. The events are covered by around 30 thousand journalists and over 4 billion people worldwide watched the Games on TV.

The Beijing Olympic Games has created a bridge between the Olympic Spirit and Chinese culture. It's a passionate embrace between the east and west, and a grand party for people from all around the world to take part in.

In the past 16 days, people have made new friends regardless of race or nationality. No matter where they go after the games, their friendships will last forever.

Later during the closing ceremony, the Olympic flame was extinguished and the Olympic flag was handed to the city of London, which will host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Wu Jia, CRI news.



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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