The 16th Asian Games held its first official press conference for the world media at the Main Media Centre.
The Asian Games are the second largest sports event in the world after the Summer Olympic Games.
According to Chen Shaokang, Executive Mayor of the Athletes' Village, October 25, 2010 marked the start of the pre-opening period of the Athletes' Village. By November 1, it has received the advance teams of NOC delegations from Japan, Iraq, Thailand, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Vietnam.
Chen outlined the following:
The official opening is scheduled for November 5 and approximately 10,156 athletes and 4,202 team officials from 45 countries and regions will stay in the Village during the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games.
The Athletes' Village is located in north central of the Asian Games Town, adjoining the Technical Officials' Village and the Media Village in the east and west respectively, bordering the Asian Games Town Gymnasium in the south and having the Asian Games Park and the Beach Volleyball Venue in its southeast corner. Built on a 329,024 square meters land space and with a total floor area of 591,332 square meters, it stands at the core of the Asian Games Town Division and is the most important Games-time services area.
The Village provides a Games-time residence for the athletes and serves as the headquarters for NOC delegations, the venue of the Chefs de Mission meetings and the place where Chefs de Mission representatives are received and Team Welcome Ceremonies, flag-raising ceremonies and a variety of cultural activities are held. It plays an important role in the Games arrangements for security, accommodation, catering, transport, protocol, religious services, medical services, recreation, entertainment and cultural events.
The Athletes' Village consists of the Public Zone, the Residential Zone and the International Zone. Athletes & team officials and visitors will enter the public zone first after their arrival in the Athletes' Village.
It includes the Welcome Centre, the Guest Centre, the Media Centre, NOC parking lot, the Arrivals and Departures Terminal, shuttle bus parking lot and the Transport Plaza.
The Athletes' Village provides shuttles and delegation vehicles to meet the transport needs of athletes and team officials upon their arrivals and departures and at the time of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, trainings and competitions. As the weather in November is perfect for a tour around Guangzhou, six sightseeing and shopping routes are operated between the Village and the Asian Games Cultural Village, Lianhua Mountain, Xiangjiang Safari Park, Tianhe CBD and a few other places.
The Residential Zone includes apartment buildings, the Athletes' Dining Hall, the Services Centre, the Physical Recovery Centre and the Mayor's Office.
The Village has a total of 49 apartment buildings, in which there are 3,598 apartments and 9,272 rooms. In each room, there hangs a local children's painting which the athletes may take away as a gift. There are four resident service centres and 18 laundry collection points in the apartment buildings, providing laundry, linen replacement and other accommodation services. Residents may also surf online, play e-games, watch TV or participate in other recreational activities.
With 3,892 seats, the Athletes' Dining Hall provides catering services 24 hours a day. The main dining hall is divided into six sections including East Asian and Chinese, Southeast Asian and sub-continental, Muslim, European Continental, non-Muslim and McDonald's, plus two tables for cooked food and buffet.
The menu rotates every five days, offering over 800 dishes. Typical local snacks including steamed shrimp dumplings and double-skin milk will enable the Village residents to savour the world-renowned Cantonese cuisine. Sports nutritionists are available to provide consultation services every day. The catering service provider for the Village has worked for 14 editions of the Olympic Games and two editions of the Asian Games. More than 3,000 people work in catering, including 56 international staff members from 10 countries and regions and 35 Cantonese chefs employed by the GAGOC and the service provider.
With 3,892 seats, the Athletes' Dining Hall provides catering services 24-hour a day. The main dining hall is divided into six sections: East Asian and Chinese, Southeast Asian and Sub-continental, Muslim, European Continental, non-Halal and McDonald's.
During the Games, there will be 537 NOC assistants to provide services for delegations. The Religious Services Centre serves the religious needs of Buddhists, Taoists, Islamists, Catholics, Protestants and Hindus and provides meditation rooms for other religious believers.
GAGOC, the governments of Guangdong and Guangzhou pay great attention to food safety. Local food and drug administrative bureaus and other functional departments in the host and co-host cities introduce a strict real-time monitoring and supervision system over the food used by the Athletes' Main Dining Hall from food producing, processing, transporting to preparing. A point-to-point supply system establishes a direct contact between the manufacturer and the final processor, and functional departments are designated to be responsible for raw materials and finished goods sampling.
The public health authority oversees the safety of the whole food supply chain. The catering service provider operates under the HACCP international food safety standards and engages a third-party auditor to ensure its compliance.
The Services Centre is located in the middle of the Residential Zone, consisting of NOC Services Centre, Competition Information Center, Language Services Centre, Chefs de mission Meeting Hall and Polyclinic. The polyclinics offer emergency, internal medicine, general surgery, physiotherapy & rehabilitation, stomatology and other medical services. To demonstrate traditional Chinese medicines culture, Chinese massage and acupuncture are also available.
The Leisure and Recreation Centre features an indoor swimming pool, gym facilities, an entertainment and massage center, an indoor basketball courts, a volleyball court and a tennis court.
An outdoor basketball court, a football field and a 400-metre running track will also be provided within the Centre, to facilitate the physical recovery of the village residents.
The Mayor's Office is a typical Cantonese waterside courtyard, located in the west of the Residential Zone and east of the Welcome Centre. It is the place where the Mayor meets the Chefs de Mission and other delegation officials.
The International Zone will offer commercial, entertainment and recreational as well as religious services for athletes and team officials. It will also host the Team Welcome Ceremonies. The main areas in the Zone are Flag Plaza, the Retail Centre, Entertainment and Recreation Centre, religious centre and Administrative Centre.
Flag Plaza will host the Welcome Ceremony for Games delegations. It will also be used to stage cultural performances and other events. The Retail Centre will have a wide range of retail stores and services including banks, post offices, telephone calling center, travel agency, hair salons, convenience store, etc.
The Entertainment and Recreation Centre will house Chinese Study Room, dance floor, karaoke Room and DVD Lounge.
Cultural activities in the village will focus on demonstration and experience of the Guangzhou, Lingnan, Chinese and Asian cultures.
Visitors to the Lingnan handicrafts exhibition will be impressed by the exquisiteness of the exhibits and the amazing craftsmanship. Interactive activities in the International Zone will introduce athletes to woodcarving, paper cutting, ceramics and other traditional Chinese folk arts, and enable them to better understand the unique charm of the host city Guangzhou and the fascinating local culture.
(GAGOC November 2, 2010)