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Olympic Low-price Scheme, a Beneficial Try
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An attractive low-price scheme, a population of more than 1.3 billion, an army of overseas Chinese dreaming of an Olympic Games on the home soil, plus the whole world's huge interest in the ancient oriental land of China and the Games.


With all these factors combined, some people have given the tag of "scarcest resource" to the tickets for the 2008 Beijing Games.


The long-waited low price plan, released in November last year is really a welcome surprise for all. When it costs dozens of yuan for a movie and hundreds of yuan for a performance in China, 30 yuan (US$) for an international sports event is extraordinary.


Special tickets for students will also be offered, which account for about 14 percent of all domestically available tickets and cost merely 5 yuan (US$0.64) for preliminaries and 10 yuan (US$1.28) for finals.


"China is a developing country with an average income level lower than that of Sydney or Athens, therefore the ticket prices should be much lower," the official statement said.


Another key reason why the Olympic Games has lasted so long lies in its care for the common folks.


"The low-price scheme fully embodied the Olympic spirit that everyone can enjoy the games and participate in it," noted Wei Jizhong, former secretary-general of Chinese Olympic Committee and current senior consultant with Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).


"It will enable more people who love the Games to feel the atmosphere and the spirit of competition," a netizen named River echoed Wei's comment.


But problems remain to be solved to let people benefit from the plan.


For example, how can the plan ensure those who are really in need get the tickets while reducing the number of tickets-holders who don't check in?


Reports said that the tickets will be sold under real names and each person can only buy a limited number of tickets. This is a good solution. But what about those tickets that is not on open sale? How will they be managed?


"Beijing will guarantee a fair distribution of the tickets and will also not set multiple standards for ticket prices", Vice Mayor Liu Jingmin promised in a program aired on Beijing Television.


"If Chinese and Westerners, the rich and the poor, are charged different prices, it will go against the Olympic spirit," said Liu.


(China Daily April 6, 2007)

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