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Games help build sport management talent pool for China
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One of the Beijing Olympic Games legacies left for China will be a number of sport management talents, said the organizers on Tuesday.

The Beijing Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games (BOCOG) appointed 28 Chinese competition managers, who will become part of the sport management talent pool after the Games, said Zhang Jilong, director of the Sports Department of BOCOG.

"All of the 28 competition managers are Chinese, which is different from the previous two Games in Sydney and Athens," said Zhang.

"The previous Games organizers hired foreign aid in these positions but we consider the Beijing Games a great opportunity to leave China many sport management experts of its own," he said.

Different from other BOCOG positions, competition manager appointments need approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international sports federations (IFs).

These managers, who must speak fluent English or French, are responsible for organizing competition and coordinating with relevant IFs.

"These personnel have all been recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the international sports federations before they were appointed. I personally have much confidence in them," he said.

Vice director Liu Wenbin admitted that some IFs once doubted the Chinese personnel's abilities in organizing sport competition that China are not good at, for example, cycling and equestrian.

"It took longer time to decide competition manager candidates in China's weak sports. We finally nailed it, however, through constant communication with relevant IFs and by sending those candidates to international events to learn, “said Liu.

China sent 11 people to Athens Olympic Games organizing committee to collect experience and kept fielding candidates to many international events since then to help with organization and at the same time to accumulate experience.

"Those people eventually won over the IOC and relevant IFs," he said, adding that equestrian and cycling test events had been held successfully last year.

BOCOG also set up a competition organizing team of 612 people, recruited from all over China. And 6507 volunteers specialized in competition organization will serve the Games.

Running from August 8 through to 24, the Beijing Games will see 302 gold medals from 28 sports.

(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2008)

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