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Olympic village to open in July
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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 residents.

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 residential zone.
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 Village.

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.

( by Wang Zhiyong, January 16, 2008)

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