Beyond Beijing in 2008ˇˇSpecial Olympic President Backs Beijing's BidˇˇWorld Olympians Meet in Beijing
Taiwan Ethnic Artists Back Beijing's Olympic Bid

A multicultural art troupe from China's Taiwan province threw their weight behind Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympic Games on Friday, presenting the bid committee a wood mask named "Hero".

The art ensemble said that the wood sculpture, made by artists of Taiwan's Amei ethnic minority, conveys its wish that Beijing will go through a heated bidding campaign to have the last smile.

"A man of the Amei ethnic could be recognized as a hero only after he has been through twists and turns," said head of the troupe Alice Takiwatan.
"That is why we present the mask to the Beijing bid committee."

The troupe of 24 artists from all the ethnic groups in the Taiwan province visited the Beijing bid committee Friday morning where they made the exhibition hall a temporary stage for singing and dancing.

Saying that Beijing's bid is related with the joint efforts from across the Straits, the bid committee expressed hope that it would like to see their performances again in the year of 2008.

"Promoting a blend of sports and art, the Olympic Movement bring together all the ethnic groups from all over the world in the form of the Olympic Games," said Wen Wen, vice director of the Beijing bid committee publicity department.
"We hope to enjoy your performances again seven years later," she told the troupe.

In another move to back Beijing's bid, six sculptors of the art troupe will also take three days and nights to make a giant wood sculpture, named "Come Back after Hunting".

"The sculpture is expected to weigh about 3,000 kilograms and measure 4 meters long. It is in the shape of a hunter coming home with a great haul," said troupe manager Li Dewei.

"We wish Beijing could be just like the capable hunter when the International Olympic Committee vote for the host to the 2008 Games."

Beijing, along with Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul, is in the race for the world's top sporting prize. The IOC will make final decision in Moscow on July 13.

(China Daily 05/18/2001)