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Medals to be issued in HK to support Olympic equestrian events
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The 2008 Beijing Olympic Equestrian Events Hong Kong Fund will issue 5,000 official commemorative medals, hoping to raise 10 million Hong Kong dollars (US$1.29 million) to support activities relating to the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic equestrian events.

The picture of the medal on the website of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government shows that it depicts an equestrian athlete and his steed leaping over the Victoria Harbor skyline.

The medal is made of gold-plated 925 silver. Designed by local designer Alan Chan, the medal's reverse features the HKSAR emblem and a repeat pattern of 2008. Each medal includes a certificate of authenticity with a serial number, a crystal case and a wooden box decorated with horsehair.

"Both the medal's design and its packaging are exquisite. I would like to own one, too. It not only marks your support for the promotion of equestrian sports in Hong Kong but is also a perpetual treasure of China's pride," said former Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung, now chairman of the Board of Governors of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Equestrian Events Hong Kong Fund, in a recent interview.

Leung expected the public will welcome the medals.

Leung said that there are strict regulations governing the production of Olympics-related goods. After much persuasion, the board finally obtained consent to issue the medal from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of XXIX Olympiad, also known as BOCOG.

The board has limited the initial issue to 5,000 medals, which will sell for 3,998 Hong Kong dollars (about US$516) each. The board may consider issuing more editions if the response from the public is encouraging.

The Fund's Board of Governors, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, and the Home Affairs Bureau will jointly organize a fundraising event at Hong Kong Coliseum on April 30, to mark the 100-day countdown to the Olympics. The event also aims to foster the Olympics spirit.

"Through the selling of commemorative medals and the 100-day countdown fund-raising event, I strongly believe that we can fulfill our target of raising 40 million Hong Kong dollars (US$5.16 million)," Leung said, adding the board has already raised more than 16.9 million Hong Kong dollars (US$2.18 million) since it was set up last December.

The Fund supports projects and activities that aim to build and galvanize community support for the Olympic equestrian events, such as the volunteer program, the "HKSAR 10th Anniversary Cup" test event and an inter-cities primary schools quiz.

(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2007)

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