A 125-member delegation representing the Beijing Olympic Games
Bid Committee landed in Moscow on Saturday to make one final push
before a July 13 vote that will decide who hosts the 2008 Summer
Olympics. Beijing's group joined delegations from the other candidate
cities of Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul.
Heading the Beijing delegation were Beijing Mayor and the president
of the bid committee Liu Qi; Yuan Weimin, head of China's National
Olympic Committee; and Liu Jingmin, executive vice-president of
the bid committee and vice-mayor of Beijing.
In a letter received today by Liu Qi, the environmental advocacy
group Greenpeace extended its "sincere support" for Beijing's
"As an international environmental organization, we are especially
pleased to know that Beijing is striving for a Green Olympic Game.
We believe that this event will help Beijing and its people to achieve
their goal for a cleaner and greener environment."
The world is holding its breath to see which city will receive the
blessing of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members, who
are gathering here for the IOC's 112th session, scheduled to start
"We won 28 golds in Sydney, but this time there is only one
gold to win," said Yuan Weimin. "I wish Beijing good luck."
The IOC will also vote for a new president in Moscow. Long-time
leader, Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch, is stepping down.
"It is a very important meeting. Both the final vote on the
2008 Olympics and the presidential election will be of great significance
to the development of the Olympic Movement," Liu Qi said after
the delegation arrived.
Chinese ping-pong legend Deng Yaping and Hong Kong media guru Yang
Lan, both good-will ambassadors for Beijing's bid, and two-time
Olympic shooting champion Yang Ling were the other high-profile
members of the delegation on hand to add weight to Beijing's quest
to host the world's biggest sporting event.
Each candidate will hold a 30-minute press conference on July 12,
the day before the final vote that will be their last chance to
make a public case for their respective bids.
On July 13, the candidate cities will make their final presentation
in front of all the voting IOC members and the final vote will follow
at approximately 18:00 local time (22:00 Beijing time).
"We are doing everything to make the final presentation the
best," Liu Jingmin said.
The presentation will include three short films directed by China's
internationally acclaimed director Zhang Yimou.