The Beijing Olympic Village will be opened on July 27, Deng
Yaping, Deputy Director of the Olympic Village Department under the
Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, said on January 15.
Deng, also a four-time Olympic table tennis champion, revealed
the news at the weekly routine reception. The Olympic Village will
be closed on August 27 but will reopen three days later and remain
open until September 20 for the Paralympics.
Covering about 66 hectares and located just 3 km from all the
major sporting venues, the village is seated next to a forest park.
It comprises a residential zone; a service zone, with banks, shops,
cafeterias and other business establishments; it also has an
operational zone, for transport and logistic facilities.
Inspection procedures requiring certificates will be imposed at the
borders between different zones for safety concerns.
All the 205 athlete delegations will be living in the Olympic
village, either six-story or 9-storey apartment buildings.
Residential zones will have 12 service centers to provide
reception and information services. 24-hour service restaurants
providing special Chinese food and dishes from other countries are
available to satisfy the different needs of temporary
The village is also equipped with many indoor fitness and
training centers as well as a jogging path, tennis, basketball and
volleyball courts, together with other recreational facilities,
such as Internet cafes, games and DVD rooms.
Services for worship and meditation, including Buddhism,
Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, will be available in the
A comprehensive out-patient clinic will provide emergency and
doping detection capabilities. Shuttle buses within the village are
available 24 hours a day. Mail services and other Games-related
logistics services will also be readily available.
A flag-raising square is located at the residential zone and a
welcoming ceremony will be held here for each delegation coming to
the village. The operation zone comprises a park area, welcome
center, visitor center, bus stations and the logistics center. The
visitor center is located at the main entrance of the Olympic
According to Deng, her department is also responsible for the
operations of two media villages. One will lodge 6,000 reporters
while the other will cater to 1,000 journalists.
During the Olympic Games, some 16,000 athletes and officials are
expected to live in the Olympic Village. This includes more than
4,000 athletes and more than 2,200 team staff. For the convenience
of any athletes with physical disabilities, all apartment buildings
and public areas are barrier-free.
(China.org.cn by Wang Zhiyong, January 16, 2008)