/ Top News

Bright day forecast for Olympics
By Lei Lei(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-08-09 05:41

With the Beijing Olympics exactly two years away, organizers yesterday promised the opening ceremony will not be mired by the heavy rains which have repeatedly hit the capital this summer.

Joggers yesterday pass a countdown board erected in front of the China National Museum on Tian'anmen Square to mark the two-year countdown to the Beijing Olympic Games. [Xinhua]

"The possibility of rain on August 8, 2008, is between 30 and 40 per cent. If it does rain, it will most likely be only a drizzle," said Jiang Xiaoyu, executive vice-president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

The prediction is based on weather data from the last 50 August 8s, Jiang told a news conference marking the two-year countdown.

In Beijing's bidding report, the Games' opening date was originally scheduled for the latter half of July, but due to concerns over bad weather, the BOCOG put it off to August 8.

"Weather data shows that the climate in August will be suitable for the Games," said Jiang.

The Olympics will be held from August 8 to 24, while the Paralympic Games will be held from September 6 to 17.

At yesterday's briefing, organized by the State Council Information Office, organizers also promised a high quality service for the media.

"We will guarantee reporters the same freedom they have enjoyed at previous Games," said Jiang. "Where international norms differ from our usual practices, we will adopt international and Games norms."

He said the commitment applied both to journalists accredited by the IOC to cover the Games and those without accreditation.

"However, all will have to abide by China's laws," he added.

At the 2005 World Broadcaster Briefing for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, last September, BOCOG President Liu Qi pledged to:

allow foreign media's equipment and supplies to enter and be used in China duty-free;

put no restrictions on the export of Olympic material filmed and produced in China for broadcast abroad;

facilitate the entry of personnel of the rights-holding broadcasters and other foreign media into China before the Games.

The 2006 World Broadcaster Meeting for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games opens tomorrow, while the first World Press Briefing for the Games will be held from September 25 to 29, both in Beijing, to gather further suggestions from the media on improving services.

Speaking at the same meeting BOCOG Secretary General Wang Wei said the Games will act as a catalyst for political and social development in China.

"For the whole of society, the Olympic Games will speed up reform," said Wang. "Chinese people will have more opportunities to have exchanges with the rest of the world.

"China is on a fast track to modernization and the Olympic Games will act as a further catalyst."

Wang said the government had learnt a lot from co-operating with the corporate world to stage the Games.

(China Daily 08/09/2006 page1)