Beijing Always Welcomes You

 

The 29th Olympic Games has completed in Beijing on 24th August, 2008. The following is an article by H.E. Zhang Ming, the Ambassador of the people's republic of China to the Republic of Kenya, published in the local newspaper to commemorate the success of the Beijing Olympic Games.

 

From 8th to 24th August, 2008 the 29th Olympic Games was successfully held in Beijing, China. With the motto of "one world, one dream", more than ten thousand athletes from 204 countries and regions gathered in Beijing and strived hard for making their dreams and targets reality. 84 Heads of States and Governments, members of Royal families and 42 world VIPs, including Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President of the Republic of Kenya, attended the opening ceremony, over 30 world VIPs attended the closing ceremony, and tens of thousands of foreign journalists flooded Beijing to cover the Games. Billions of people watched the opening, closing ceremony and the Games through Television. The organizing works of the Games, the sports facilities, the passion of the audience, the dedication of 500,000 volunteers, and the hospitality of the Chinese people have greatly impressed the athletes, coaches, officials and visitors from all over the world and provided a excellent environment of competition for all athletes. Within the past 16 days, 38 world records and 85 Olympic records have been broken. 87 countries shared the 302 gold medals.

Among those countries, Kenya sent a strong team to Beijing and ranks first position in Africa with total 14 medals,5 Gold, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze, which consolidates its status as a powerful sports country in Africa and even in the world. In this regard, the Kenyan people as a whole and the Kenyan athletes in particular deserve special congratulations. I want to emphasize that I and my colleagues in the Embassy felt particularly proud in one moment when Mr. Samuel Wanjiru's Gold medal for Men's Marathon has been awarded by Mr. Jacques Rogge, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the closing ceremony of the Games and the national anthem of Kenya was played in the Bird's Nest in the audience of billions of people from all over the world. Congratulations to him and his motherland, Kenya.

China ranks first in term of the gold medals and second in total medals. Taking into consideration that China rejoined the Olympics only in 1984, it is indeed a great progress for China to have made such an achievement, which have been possible because of the social and economic development and the growing and huge sports population in China and the fact that the life expectancy has reached 73 in a country with a population of 1.3 billion. The Chinese people, of course, are proud of what they have achieved. However, winning more gold medals is neither the only nor the No. 1 purpose for the Chinese people. The first gold medal they aim at is to provide a platform for the athletes from all over the world to compete and fulfill their dreams, and to promote the mutual understanding and friendship between China and the rest of the world, among countries in the world, and to convey the message of peace, cooperation, forgiveness and harmony to the world.

From our point of view, there are three key elements that made the Beijing Olympic Games a great success. Firstly, the fast development of China provides a solid economic and social foundation for hosting a successful Olympic Games. Thanks to the reform and opening up policy, China has enjoyed a continuous political, economical, social and cultural development in the past 30 years, which enables China to host such a grand sports feast for the people throughout the world.

Secondly, the earnest and concerted efforts of the Chinese government and its 1.3 billion people assure the success of the Games. During the past 112 years, in the history of the modern Olympics, most developing countries, including China, have been longing for hosting an Olympic Games. 7 years ago, the world entrusted Beijing to host the 29th Olympic Games and Beijing becomes the second city from a developing country after Mexico City to host the Sports feast. It is a one-hundred-year-long dream for the Chinese people that turned into reality today. In order to honor its commitments and the trust of the world, the Chinese people engaged in the preparation works of the Olympic Games with great enthusiasm, sincerity and determination in the past 7 years, to make the Beijing Olympic Games a high standard, unique and successful one despite of all the difficulties and challenges. Now the people of the world can conclude that it is a right decision to entrust China with the 29th Olympic Games. The success of Beijing is the ray of hope for developing countries that are interested in hosting the Olympic Games. It is predictable that the Olympic Games will go to more developing countries, hopefully Kenya in 2028.

Thirdly, the China's theory of peaceful development and building a harmonious world, which conforms to the Olympic spirit of peace, friendship, unity, cooperation, has won broad recognition and support from the international communities. The Olympic spirit emphasizes the tolerance and understanding between different races and cultures, fair play and justice in competition. During the preparation works and the Games, we also received various support from the international community, including the International Olympic Committee and cooperation from athletes, which ensured a smooth Olympic Games. The success of Beijing is the glory and pride of the whole world. Just like what President Hu Jintao has rightly put it, the success of Beijing Olympic Games is owing to the joint efforts of the people from China and the people of the world. The glory goes to the international Olympic family, goes to all the athletes who has been competing in the sports field, goes to the volunteers and goes to our friends from all over the world who participated the Olympic Games in various ways.

Now the 29th Olympic Games has completed. The Chinese government and its people would never forget the valuable support from the Kenyan government and its people, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), especially its chairman, the Kenyan Olympic legend Dr. Kipchoge Keino for Beijing's successful bid for hosting the Games in 2001. For which, I would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation.

The Chinese people have learnt valuable experiences from hosting the 29th Olympic Games, which will continue to help in China's process of economic development, of social justice, of environmental protection, and improving the people's living standard and promoting mutual understanding with the people all over the world. More importantly, following the Beijing Games, the world now has gained a more comprehensive and objective view about China. The world has witnessed a country of striving for happiness, democracy, justice, openness, peace and friendship. And China will open wider to the world and make more contribution to the world peace and development. The Beijing Olympic Games has left rich and unique heritages, both tangible and intangible, for both China and the world.

With the conclusion of the Olympic Games, Beijing is going to host the Paralympics Games from 6th September to 17th September. The Chinese Government and its people will, as always, extend their warmest hands to those physically challenged friends and provide even better services for them. Finally, either through TV or going to Beijing, I would like to invite the entire readers to join me and the Chinese people, with a loving heart, to witness the great performance of our physically challenged friends. Despite difficulties they face physically, they will strive for a higher target, and their admirable spirit deserves respect, encouragement, appreciation and recommendation. So let us cheer up for them and wish them great achievements in the Paralympics Games.

Beijing welcomes you. Beijing always welcomes you.

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