Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beijing Games 'benchmark for Vancouver 2010'

Beijing has done "a truly stupendous job" and Vancouver, host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, will try to replicate its success, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell said yesterday.

Immense progress has been made in Beijing's transport system, even since his last visit in May, and its volunteer network is astonishing, he said.

"They were excellent hosts to me and I'm sure every visitor feels the same," he said.

Campbell and his team have been in close touch with the BOCOG since 2003.

"In 2003, there wasn't very much here . Now, I see vast areas of parkland, trees and new residential developments that will be here for the long term," he said.

All of the improvements can be attributed to BOCOG, Campbell said, as it must have thought, "we want to host the world in a way that it can enjoy the Olympics, enjoy Beijing, and understand what China is trying to do".

The Games will serve as an inspiration for all that is going to be showcased in Vancouver in two years, he said.

"The cultural component of the opening ceremony that introduced China in the 21st century to the world is an example of that," he said.

The ceremony was emotional and inspiring, and Vancouver wants to do the same, Campbell said.

The city will have three media centers and the Games will attract some 10,000 accredited 3,000 non-accredited journalists, he said.

"Just as Beijing has rolled out the red carpet for athletes, coaches, dignitaries and international visitors, so will Vancouver," Campbell said.

A light-rail transit link is being built from the airport to the downtown area, where most of the venues will be, he said.

Source: China Daily

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