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Inaugural National Fitness Day highlights Olympics anniversary
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The inauguration of the National Fitness Day highlighted the first anniversary of the Beijing Olympics in Beijing on Saturday.

At a ceremony in the Water Cube Aquatic Center, symbol of the Beijing Olympics, Liu Peng, the director of China's General Administration of Sports and the president of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said," The establishment of Aug. 8 as the National Fitness Day reflects the government's concern over the life and fortune of the people, and it is the best marking of the most eye-catching Olympic Games in Beijing."

"The launch of the National Fitness Day is also a vivid reflection of the legacy that the Beijing Olympics has left for the people and the society," said Liu. "It is an important step to further improve people's health and a great power to enhance the Chinese sports."

Addressing the ceremony, Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong called on all Beijing residents to join the national fitness program in a bid to make more contributions to the building of "People's Beijing, Scientific Beijing and Green Beijing".

Also on the occasion, Xu Haifeng, a sharp shooter who claimed the first-ever Olympic gold medal for China in 1984, proposed all the Chinese people to take physical exercise at least one hour per day from now on.

The ceremony was also attended by International Olympic Committee (IOC) Press Commission chief Kevan Gosper, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli and former IOC Coordination Commission chairman Hein Verbruggen.

In the morning, the Olympic area in Beijing also witnessed more than 34,000 people from all walks of life performing Taijiquan, or martial arts shadow boxing, which set a Guinness world record for the largest martial arts exercise.

Today, a wide range of celebrations were held around the country to mark the first anniversary of the Beijing Olympics and the inauguration of the National Fitness Day.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2009)

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