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General Public to Design Pins for Beijing Games
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An Olympic pin designing contest was launched on Friday, welcoming people from all over China to share their ideas about the Beijing Games.


The contest, lasting until June 30, will have its winners on August 8 to mark the exact one-year countdown for the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games.


All contestants can choose between the five categories in their design, namely Olympic and Chinese culture, Olympic sports, torch relay, Green Olympics as well as drawing whatever on your mind about the Games. People can visit the Olympic channel on sohu.com for contesting information.


"The contest is aimed at general public instead of professional designers because we hope to involve more people with the Olympics," said David Brooks, vice president of Coca-Cola (China) which sponsors the contest.


"Not all the people can buy a ticket to watch the competition in 2008 but they can take their parts in the Games, for instance, joining the pin design contest," he said.


Olympic pin trading has become a tradition since the first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece where athletes, officials and judges exchanged little round cards with their names and titles on it.


Since 1988, each Olympics will have a pin trading center for people to trade their pins, mainly made of metal nowadays, and make friends. Beijing is not exception.


Brooks said Beijing should have more than one trading center considering its large population.


"In Athens, we set up one center close to beach volleyball venue but in Beijing, one is not enough," he said.


The Chinese capital has a population of around 16 million in 2005, 5 million more than that of Greece.


"So we plan to build two pin trading centers in Beijing and there also will be trading sites in co-host cities," he said. Hong Kong, Qingdao, Shenyang, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin and Shanghai are the co-host cities of the Games.


(Xinhua News Agency May 21, 2007)

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