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Special> Video> Sports
UPDATED: July 29, 2008  
Olympic Villages Officially Welcome First Guests
The village will host athletes from over 200 countries and regions. And the Chinese team were the first guests

The Olympic villages in Beijing and its co-host cities officially opened on Sunday. The villages are a home away from home during the Games, and they've just welcomed their first guests.

BOCOG President Liu Qi handed a symbolic key to the village mayor Chen Zhili, as the Beijing Olympic Village opened on Sunday. And local residents showed their support with a Ruyi, a traditional Chinese symbol of good luck.

The village will host athletes from over 200 countries and regions. And the Chinese team were the first guests.

Over 300 athletes were there for the first flag raising ceremony. They represent the over 1,000 members of the Chinese team, the largest contingent that will come to the village. And the hosts say they're ready.

Chen Zhili, mayor Beijing Olympic village, said, "We will provide comfortable accommodations, delicious food, and various cultural activities. We will make you feel warm and comfortable as though you're at home."

International athletes will arrive in the days to come.

On Sunday, a group of Polish athletes were the first foreign delegation to arrive in Beijing.

More teams have checked in at the Olympic Village in Qingdao, a coastal city in east China, for the sailing events. Officials welcomed athletes from 14 countries.

The village is right next to the venue.

Zhang Aimin, mayor Qingdao Olympic village, said, "This is an Olympic village with a seaside atmosphere, and it's the closest to the venue. We will provide a comfortable home with local specialties to all athletes."

Olympic villages in other co-host cities have also opened their doors. Designated hotels in Shenyang and Shanghai will receive football teams, and they've promised quality service.

Hotel manager, said, "We'll provide 24-hour house-keeping service to all teams, and do our best to resolve any difficulties for the athletes."

The Olympic villages are determined to provide hospitality worthy of champions during the Games.

(CCTV July 28, 2008)


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