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2008 Games to Be 'People's Olympics'

The Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) -- the advisory body to the municipal government -- yesterday put forward recommendations on how to hold a "People's Olympics" in 2008.

The concept is being adopted for the Beijing event together with "Green Olympics" and "High-tech Olympics."

Yang Tieli, a member of the Jiu San Society, a non-Communist party, yesterday called for more education for residents about the Olympics, especially students and service sector workers. "Beijing now lacks special organizations for Olympic education and an overall education plan," he said yesterday at a seminar organized by the CPPCC Beijing Municipal Committee.

He advised setting up courses at sports colleges and sports departments of universities. According to him, few of 14 sports colleges and 102 sports departments at universities offer lessons on the Olympics. Yang also wanted classes at primary and middle schools.

Education was stressed for people engaged in Beijing's service sector, especially taxi drivers. Volunteers for the 2008 games were also urged to receive education and foreign language training.

Since July of last year, the Jiu San Society has organized a dozen exhibitions on the Olympics in Beijing and some 50,000 people have visited.

Meanwhile, Liu Yifei, a Beijing Municipal Committee member, said the games should be people-oriented and "should not influence daily lives of local residents much."

Lei Li, another Jiu San Society member, yesterday advised organizers to not only take good care of athletes, coaches and referees, but also audiences and visitors. She advised providing food of various tastes and multi-language services, including those in less widely used languages. 

Song Guilun, publicity vice-director for the Communist Party's Beijing Municipal Committee, said the concept of "People's Olympics" should be clarified in the near future for a successful games in four years' time.

(China Daily November 10, 2004)

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