CHINA / National

Festival inspires Olympic awareness
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-24 08:48

The fourth Olympic cultural festival opened at the Badaling section of the Great Wall on Friday.

The annual event, which will run until July 15, will features 28 activities aimed at inspiring public awareness of the Games.

"The theme is 'experience civilization and enjoy the Olympic Games'," said Wang Ning, director of the culture and ceremony department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

"We hope all Chinese people can share the joy of the Olympics," he said.

Other activities include Beijing International Sports Film Week, open-air concerts and exhibitions.

Apart from Beijing, activities will be held in Shanghai, Qingdao and Tianjin, the co-host cities of the 2008 Games.

Wang said festivals held over the past three years had helped spread knowledge about the Games among the public.

The Olympic spirit has taken root in the minds of the younger generation, he said.

During the opening ceremony, a 2008-metre painting completed by 1 million children from more than 200 cities was displayed on the Great Wall. The painting expresses the children's passion for the Games.

A giant Olympic logo, 67 metres long and 18 metres high with the slogan "One World, One Dream," was also unveiled on a hillside near the Badaling section of the Great Wall at the opening ceremony.

"We hope this will become a landmark for the Games," said Jiang Xiaoyu, BOCOG executive vice-president.

Building an Olympic icon has become a tradition for the events host cities.

Sydney, the host city of the 2000 Games, installed its logo on Harbour Bridge, while Salt Lake City, the host of the 2002 winter Games, placed its logo on a snow-capped mountain.

(China Daily 06/24/2006 page1)