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Beijing's Olympic Village 'all ready' for guests
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Beijing's Olympic Village is "all ready" to welcome athletes from across the world, the village's spokeswoman said on Friday.

Photo taken on July 24, 2008 shows the gate of the Olympic Village in Beijing, capital of China. The Olympic Village will be formally opened to the athletes from around the world on July 27. The Beijing Olympic Games will be held on Aug 8-24.

The village officially opens on Sunday and is now poised to receive 16,000 athletes and officials from 200-plus countries and regions, said Deng Yaping, also the village's deputy head and a four-times table tennis Olympic champion.

"Since the village's preliminary opening on July 20, 150 people from 46 countries and regions have checked in," Deng said.

The village, comprising 42 apartment buildings, sits on the northern end of the central axis that runs through Beijing. Important buildings of all ages, including the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square, are on this axis.

Also on the axis, immediately further north lies the Olympic Green, and just to the south is the National Stadium, popularly known as the "Bird Nest".

After checking in, each of the villagers will receive a welcome letter from Chen Zhili, head of the village. The rooms are decorated with pictures drawn and framed by Chinese and foreign children with environment-friendly paper and material, which will be given to the athletes as gifts after the Games finish.

Some 100 foreign and 2,300 Chinese chefs and waiters are to offer an around-the-clock service, Deng said.

In line with the regulations of the International Olympic Committee, a religious center had been set up in the village, she said. Major religions -- Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism -- all have worship rooms.

During the games, 70 religious volunteers will also offer their services to participants of different faiths. The religious service center will offer a guide to major religious sites in the city.

A clinic has also opened in the village, providing 24-hour free medical service and traditional Chinese acupuncture and massage.

According to Deng, the village's car park, media center, visitors' center, shuttle bus stops and logistic centers are also ready.

The village will close on Aug. 27. Also as the Paralympic Village, it will reopen on Aug. 30 and close on Sept. 20.

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