More than 3,000 Olympic commodities are available in the international area of the Athletes' Village, said Deng Yaping, the spokesperson and deputy director Olympic Village Department, on Sunday at the opening of the Village.
"Having been an athlete for years, I really know what the athletes want," said the legendary paddler who had dominated women's table tennis for nearly a decade in 1990's.
"The international area is always attractive in each Olympics. The international guests need consumption and entertainment in the area, so we attach a lot of importance to that part," said Deng. "For some of the athletes and delegation managers, they won't go around the city, and probably the international area is the only place they can tour and buy something home."
There are a collection of more than 3,000 commodities in the shops covering 1,000 square meters. The Village picked up the 3,000 items from a total of 6,000-7,000 specially certified commodities.
"We enquired a lot of athletes and team managers for Olympic commodity selection advice, so what we provide are the most desired in line with previous experience," said Deng.
In the international area, villagers can see in a colorful section of interactive cultural activities. Villagers can take part in various theatrical performances and festivities throughout the Games. A special Chinese Learning Center has also been established to help villagers improve their Chinese language skills and learn the basics about Chinese calligraphy and other aspects of traditional culture.
"The villagers can learn Chinese in the area and get a Chinese name as they like. We also invited a bunch of folk craftsmen, who can show their skills on spot like clay character making and broidering. The villager can also be part of the artistic performance," said Deng.
(Xinhua News Agency July 27, 2008)