The accreditation process for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) has begun and the deadline for the return of forms is February 29, organizers said.
"The BOCOG has begun distributing press application forms and accreditation guides to the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and accredited organizations," Yang Minghui, deputy director of the BOCOG's accreditation center, said.
"According to Olympic charter regulations, holders of valid Olympic or Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Cards (OIACs) can use them, in combination with a valid passport or travel document, to enter and exit the host country," he said.
OIAC holders are permitted to remain in the host country to carry out their duties during the Olympic and Paralympics and for one month before and after. In other words, an OIAC can be used as a temporary visa, Yang said.
But he said the identity cards could not be used as free tickets to events.
"The OIAC is a working credential for carrying out duties during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but it is not a free ticket. Only those who have reserved seating authorization will be permitted inside the venues to watch events."
It is estimated there will be 21,600 accredited writers, photographers and broadcasters during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
All press members must be nominated by an International Olympic Committee, NOC or International Sports Federation to achieve accreditation. Applications from individuals will not be accepted, Yang said.
(China Daily November 29, 2007)