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OLYMPICS/ Olympic Nation

Banners banned in venues during the Games

China Daily
Updated: 2008-07-15 07:13


Spectators will not be allowed to take banners, musical instruments and soft drink containers into Olympic venues, according to a set of rules released Monday.

The Olympic venue rules, promulgated by BOCOG, 25 days ahead of the Games, advise spectators not to bring into the venues support banners or leaflets of commercial publicity, religion, politics, military, human rights or environmental and animal protection.

Huang Keying, a BOCOG official, said the rules, including 22 restrictions and four prohibitions, are completely in line with the Olympic Charter.

"Each spectator is subject to the rules aimed at maintaining security and order of the venue," he said.

Li Yong, a BOCOG volunteer, told the Xinhua News Agency people with banners will be stopped at the entrance security check.

Earlier last month, 800,000 Chinese volunteers began practicing routines to cheer on athletes - both Chinese and foreign - at the Games.

They were trained to do a four-step cheer in uniform sportswear, with easy-to-learn slogans.

These volunteers are required to stand up when national anthems are played and to remove trash at the end of an event.

The rules also ban taking photos with a flash, drunkenness, nudity and gambling, as well as whistles, long umbrellas, cigarette lighters, cameras and radios at venues.

Animals, except guide dogs, are not allowed in the venues.

Zhang Zhenliang, director of the Games' inquiry center, said spectator rules were always one of the most difficult parts of the Games preparation as they must ensure an orderly, happy and harmonious environment.

The rule books have been delivered to spectators along with tickets. Overseas spectators can check the rules online or dial "12308".

Zhang said the inquiry center is open daily from 7 am to 10 pm.

"Many overseas spectators have inquired about whether they can bring babies into the opening or closing ceremony venue." It is not advised.

Li Bingshuang, a Beijing office worker, has tickets for the beach volleyball and rhythmic gymnastics events. She carefully read the rules book attached to the tickets.

"I know little about rules, but I'm sure I should clap after athletes completed their routines," she said.

Zhang said the restrictions and prohibitions were roughly the same as those of the Athens and Sydney Games. The "spectator version" of the rules book features a simple and vivid language.

Huang said the Beijing Olympic venue rules are different from those of the previous Games as the national situation and local habits are different.

For example, Athens had banned large quantity of coins being taken into the venues. Beijing, however, did not follow this rule, she said.

"Beijing people like to use a parasol to block out the sunshine. But we have to remind people not to open umbrellas in the seating areas so as not to block others' view," she said, adding collapsible umbrellas were acceptable for being taken into venues.


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