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China's Olympic gold medallists to visit Hong Kong (with photo)

     A delegation of China's athletes who have won gold medals in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will arrive in Hong Kong next Friday (August 29) for a three-day courteous and sports demonstration visit.

     The visiting delegation will be led by the General Administration of Sport of China.

     The details of the visit of China's Olympic gold medallists were announced at a press conference held by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF & OC), the Home Affairs Bureau and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (August 20).

     Speaking at the press conference, Hon. Deputy Secretary General of the SF & OC, Professor Leung Mee-lee, said that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games were the first Olympic Games held on Chinese soil, fulfilling the hundred years' dream of the Chinese people. She said what was more inspiring was the brilliant results scored by the China's Olympic Team at the Olympic Games and the people of Hong Kong would wait with enthusiasm to see the athletes arriving in the territory.

     The first public activity of the delegation will be to attend the flag-raising ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square on August 30, to be held at 8am as usual. Young uniformed groups will perform the flag-raising ceremony to provide an opportunity for the medallists to meet up with youngsters and get a feel of the youngsters' dynamism and team spirit.

     An area will be reserved for the public to watch the flag-raising ceremony.

     Announcing the exchange and sport demonstration sessions at the press conference, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, said the delegation would meet the people of Hong Kong and stage sports demonstration in four LCSD venues between 10.30am and 12noon next Saturday (August 30): table tennis (at Shek Kip Mei Sports Centre); badminton (at Kowloon Park Sports Centre); diving (at Shing Mun Valley Swimming Pool in Tsuen Wan) and gymnastics (at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai).

     He said the activities would be rich in content and would include exchanges between the athletes and youngsters, demonstration of various sports and audience participation in sports for fun.

     The China's Olympic Gold Medallists Extravaganza will be held at the Hong Kong Stadium on the same day from 5.30 to 7pm and will provide yet another chance for the athletes to meet members of the public.

     Mr Chow said that as the visit activities would be very popular among the public of Hong Kong, it was expected that many people would line up early or use the Internet and telephone services of URBTIX to buy tickets.

     "Tickets will be available for sale at all the 34 Urban Ticketing System (URBTIX) outlets from 10am tomorrow (August 21). Tickets can also be purchased via the Internet ticketing service and telephone booking of the URBTIX.

     "Because of the limited number of tickets available to meet the demand, we expect that there will be long queues at the 34 URBTIX outlets, the Internet and telephone booking within the several hours after ticket sale has begun tomorrow, just as in the case of popular concerts. Members of the public are advised to line up orderly for tickets," Mr Chow said. (Detailed ticketing arrangement is shown in the appendix).

     The 34 URBTIX outlets are the major points for ticket sale while the Internet and telephone booking services, because of their limited handling capacity, are supportive services.

     Tickets will be sold for $20 each with free seating. People aged 60 or above, full-time students and the disabled will enjoy a half price concession. Each person can buy up to four tickets for the Extravaganza and two tickets for sports demonstration at one time.

     Mr Chow emphasised that ticket sales will be closely monitored and announcements will be made so as to facilitate the people making arrangements that suit their needs. For enquiries about the programmes, please call 1823 (round-the-clock) and for enquiries about ticket sales, please call 2734 9009 between 10am and 8pm each day.

     Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Donald Tong, said, "As at last night, China had fetched 43 gold, 14 silver and 19 bronze medals, exceeding the record of last Olympic Games and the country has been in the lead in the number of gold medals won since the start of the Games. Athletes of the Chinese national team have shown their resilience and won the respect of competitors and the applause of the audience with their superb skill and performance backed by confidence. With four days left before the Games conclude, the public will continue to show their support for the national team and wish them every success."

     Speaking in Beijing, the President of the SF & OC, Mr Timothy Fok, said, "It is an honour for Hong Kong that the General Administration of Sport of China has accepted the invitation of the SF & OC to arrange the visit of the gold medallists' delegation. They will share the joy of the country¡¦s gain in the Beijing Olympics, demonstrate their superb athletic skills and share with the Hong Kong people their successful experience."

     The gold medallists will leave Hong Kong on August 31.

Ends/Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Issued at HKT 21:13


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