Today with only 400 days to go before the start of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, the winners of the "Olympic Families Tour Beijing" were announced.
The 10 lucky families -- five from China and five worldwide -- will be invited to begin their once-in-a-lifetime Olympic adventure touring Beijing and other Olympic cities at the one-year countdown to the Games next month.
The five international winning families of the Olympic Families Tour Beijing campaign are from America, Argentina, South Africa, and Germany.
International Olympic Committee President Mr. Jacques Rogge sent a special message for the families selected to tour the Olympic cities, "I wish you the best of luck; this is going to be an exciting adventure and if you have the privilege to go to Beijing then your Olympic dream will come true."
Since its launch on April 9, the campaign has attracted participation by over 12,000 families from 62 countries. Of these 12,363 were from China and 316 were international.
In a letter to the official website, Mr. Pál Schmitt, IOC member and President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, thanked BOCOG for organizing this campaign, which has helped his country build up enthusiasm for the Games and made it possible for the Hungarian people to show the world their longstanding Olympic traditions.
The campaign has not only given people around the world a unique participatory opportunity but it has also served as a common platform for important cultural exchanges.
All of the families used their family stories platform to share with the world their unique Olympic experiences. Some families even went the extra mile, like "usa1776," who created a personal family website for the campaign.
All these efforts were aimed at convincing voters of their enthusiasm for the Olympic Movement and to gain the voters' support to become one of the lucky Olympic Families.
Enthusiasm has not been limited to just the participating families. Visitors to the official BOCOG website and China Mobile users also exhibited eagerness for the campaign, with close to eight million visitors to the Olympic Families Tour Beijing site.
During the first phase of online voting, a total of four million votes were cast by website visitors; during the second phase, 1.43 million votes were cast via the website or by SMS for the 100 campaign finalist families.
Blogs set up by the 50 campaign finalist families from China saw 2.3 million visits in over one month.
The Olympic Families Tour Beijing campaign was organized by the Media and Communications department of BOCOG in cooperation with China Mobile and the official website (www.beijing2008.cn), with support from Coca-Cola China Ltd. and Sohu.com Inc.
(BOCOG July 4, 2007)