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One Year to Olympics: We Are Ready
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The Beijing Olympic Committee (BOCOG) promises a "spectacular and splendid evening gala" marking the one-year countdown to the Beijing Olympic Games on August 8, says Zhao Dongming, head of the cultural events department of BOCOG.


The celebrations will start at 7 PM, lasting around three hours with a program of Chinese and Western performances at Tian'anmen Square in the Chinese capital.


International Olympic Committee(IOC) President Jacques Rogge will extend invitations toward more than 200 delegates from National Olympic Committees around the world to the international event. This is the first time the IOC is hosting the countdown event in a host city. Normally it is marked in Lausanne, the IOC's headquarter located in Switzerland.


Some 10,000 people are expected to watch the festivities, along with Chinese leaders, IOC senior officials and representatives of Olympic sponsors.


The performances including world famous pianist Lang Lang, a Swedish artist will sing, China's Moon, an Inner Mongolian musician will play on a traditional instrument, and some 100 Chinese singers will perform, We Are Ready, a song written and composed specially for the one-year countdown.


Zhao also said blockades will not be set up in Tian'anmen Square specifically for this gala, but there would be a stage set up near the center of the square, by the countdown clock due to the security reason. "We don't want to disrupt the general public from visiting the square," he explained.


He added that if it rains that day, the festivities would be moved indoors to the Great Hall of the People.


Chinese Central Television (CCTV) will broadcast the gala live worldwide.


Beijing will have other countdown events starting in the next few days, including people's fitness activities, arts performances, Olympic Treasure Exhibition, and Olympic families visiting the city will mark the whole nation's participation to the Games.


Co-host cities, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tianjin, and Qinhuangdao, have also organized their own countdown events.


(China Daily August 2, 2007)

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