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BOB boss takes part in relay
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Yiannis Exarchos, senior executive officer of the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Co Ltd (BOB), the official broadcaster for the Beijing Games, took part in the torch relay yesterday in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province.

Yiannis Exarchos in the relay

The 44-year-old Greek, who covered the Olympics in Athens, Sydney and Salt Lake City, said the experience was one of the "warmest moments in his life".

"Carrying the torch for the Beijing Olympics was a very special experience," he said.

In 2004, Exarchos was vice-president and director-general of Athens Olympic Broadcasting, which covered the 2004 Games. He joined BOB later that year. During next month's Games, the company will broadcast 5,400 hours of programs in high definition TV and 5.1 surround sound and will also provide signals for new media.

Thirty-four television and radio production teams are currently preparing for the Olympics, Exarchos said.

More than half of the 5,400 people working for BOB during the Games will be Chinese, Exarchos said.

During the Athens Olympics, some Chinese TV staff produced signals for table tennis, badminton and the modern pentathlon.

"We were very impressed with the quality of work they did in Athens. I think the table tennis coverage achieved a new standard in Athens," he said.

More people will watch the Beijing Olympics than did the Athens Games, he said.

Interest around the world has increased partly because of the impressive venues, Exarchos said.

"They've captured the imagination of the world."

(China Daily July 30, 2008)

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