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Chinese beauties lining up for Olympic ceremony ushers
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Liu Chang arrived at Jilin College of Art early Sunday morning. Sided by her mother and a friend, she seemed a little bit nervous as directors of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies from Beijing would test her on manners and postures hours later.

Liu is one of the girls who want to become the Olympic ushers during the opening and closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics and the Paralympics.

At the selection of Changchun division, tall young girls with good figures and pretty faces lined up at the waiting room outside the scene of selection.

"I came to Changchun yesterday to get better prepared for the selection." said Liu Jilin, whose hometown is the city of Jilin, 127 kilometers away from Changchun.

"My aunt saw the recruiting advertisement on TV and told me about it, and I thought, maybe I could be the one," she said.

The nationwide selection, starting from late March, will pick out 260 ushers during the opening and closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics and the Paralympics. Changchun is one of the 12 cities that hold the preliminary selection.

According to the recruiting advertisement, young Chinese girls taller than 1.68 meters can apply for the position. The ushers will be holding the brand with country names in front of athlete delegations at the four ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics and the Paralympics.

Nearly 500 people signed up for the position in Changchun division in the three-day application, said Chen Yong, who is in charge of the program organization. More than 100 applicants have been chosen to attend the preliminary selection, and most of them are college students.

Feng Jianing, 13, is the youngest among all the girls on the scene.

"The Beijing Olympics will be the best ever one, and I also want to do my best to participate in it," Feng said. She's still a primary school student in the sixth grade, with tall figures and experiences at model training school.

Xu Beini, a junior of the Northeast Normal University, was one the participants who finished the morning session early.

"They (the directors) made me walk and smile, and they took photos," said an excited Xu. "It was really nervous."

"I'm quite confident in my smile," she said while beaming, "but you know, there are so many girls with right qualifications. The competition is tough."

The second round would continue on Sunday afternoon with more complicated tests including language skills and rhythm sensation. The selection will end with 10 to 20 candidates entering the nationwide competition.

The final selection will finish at the end of April, and those who picked for ushers will get trained in Beijing.

"The Olympics is a festival that the Chinese people all expect, and we just want to try our best to be part of it," Liu Chang said before she entered the selection hall.

(Xinhua News Agency April 6, 2008)

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