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Beijing Games furthered the Olympic movement
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The Beijing Olympics Games was a tremendous celebration and fantastic experience which ultimately promoted the Olympic movement, said Darryl Seibel, consultant to Chicago 2016 bidding committee.

August 8, 2009 marks the one year anniversary of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. A year on, Siebel is still excited about his experience at this historical event.

"It was a fantastic Olympic experience in Beijing. For all of us who were fortunate to be in Beijing in August 2008, we saw China put on a fantastic show," Siebel told Xinhua during an interview at Chicago 2016 downtown office on Friday. "We were all greeted with great warmth and hospitality. The venues were spectacular. The competition was terrific."

Seibel was the Chief Communications Officer at United States Olympic Committee between January, 2003 and June 2009.

When asked about the impact of the Beijing Games, Seibel said, "It will take us at least a decade to fully understand just how significant those games were in Beijing. But it did provide the world a great opportunity to learn more about China, to experience and understand China, and to really enjoy the great warmth and hospitality of the people in Beijing as more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries (and regions) were welcomed for spectacular games."

With only 55 days left for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to vote for the hosting city of the 2016 Games, Chicago is in full swing with its bidding efforts.

When asked if there are any cooperation with China, Seibel said, "we are actively working around the world to share with members of International Olympic Committee our enthusiasm, our passion, and our vision for welcoming the world here to Chicago in 2016.

"We learned a great deal from the success of the 2008 Olympic Games in China, as did in the other cities which are competing for the 2016 games."

Kurt Summers, the chief of staff to the president of Chicago 2016, told Xinhua, "we certainly reached out to the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee to learn from their successful experience. We are able to learn a lot last year."

Summers currently serves as a senior advisor on a host of issues ranging from governmental affairs and community outreach to the Chicago 2016 legacy strategy and the potential economic, educational, environmental and social benefit of the Games to the City of Chicago.

The Beijing Games opened on Aug. 8 last year with a spectacular opening ceremony watched by more than 4 billion people.

More than 10,000 athletes from 204 IOC member associations competed in 302 events in 28 sports, creating 43 world records and 132 Olympic records.

(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2009)

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