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  • Beijing Unveils Look of 2008 Relay


    The red-orange uniform is for torchbearers; escorts wear blue. (Getty Images)  
    Relay Looks White and Bright

    Young people dressed in the newly-revealed uniforms of the 2008 Torch Relay runners, escorts and staff took the stage at the Olympic Media Center today, as Beijing debuted the look and image of the run.

    The so-called collaterals for the relay – the cauldron, torch stand and lantern that holds a backup flame – resemble the silver and red cloud design of the torch quite closely.

    But a color scheme of white matched with bright red, orange, yellow and blue will define the runners, their transport and city decorations. Torchbearers' uniforms are white with red-orange accents; escort and staff wear white and blue. The relay vehicle convoy and chartered airplane are white with orange and yellow. Banners to be hung in torch relay cities will be done in red-orange or blue.

    The designs are the result of some five months of work led by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts.

    Gosper Confident Beijing Competition Will Run on Schedule

    Australia’s IOC member Kevan Gosper – a key official in assessing Beijing’s organizational progress – says contingencies are in place for events affected by the city’s poor air quality and events will be completed on time.

    Gosper, who is vice president of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for Beijing, has made the comments after disquiet from administrators that some events, including the cycling road races, may need to be postponed.

    He says that while there is provision to postpone events, it would only be for a few hours and in the worst-case scenario, the next day.

    Gosper says BOCOG is confident all events will wrap up by the closing ceremony on August 24.

    Another working group involving IOC and BOCOG officials is scheduled in Beijing for the end of the month.
    Representatives of Australian company BHP Billiton handed over the gold, silver and copper that will go into Games medals this week. (Getty Images)  

    Updates are expected on anti-pollution measures, while Beijing’s state-of-the-art swimming center, known as the ‘water cube’, will host its first event, considered a key test for the Olympics venue.

    Strict ID Requirements in Place For Ceremony Tickets

    Ceremony ticket buyers from the Chinese mainland will need to submit a personal photograph and identification to assist with checking of their ticket’s authenticity, according to a new Beijing 2008 announcement.

    The measures are aimed at ensuring security, eradicating fake tickets and controlling scalping.

    BOCOG aims to gather the photo and identification details of ticket-holders by Jan. 31, via registration forms to be lodged through outlets of the Bank Of China.

    Organizers have warned that failure to submit the ID information will constitute a breach of conditions attached to ticket sales and could result in buyers being deprived of their tickets.

    Indian PM Tours Olympic Village During Official Beijing Visit

    Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Beijing's Olympic Village during his three-day official visit to China last weekend.
    Beijing deputy mayor Chen Gang shows Indian PM Manmohan Singh a model of the Olympic Village. (Getty Images)  

    Singh, accompanied by Beijing’s Deputy Mayor Chen Gang, was shown models of facilities, including the Bird's Nest stadium, the water cube swimming center and the Olympic Green.
    According to China’s state media, Singh wished Beijing success in its efforts to organize the Games.

    The Indian PM also commented that infrastructure and other work carried out in Beijing for the Olympics merits attention from the Indian people for preparation of other big events, such as the Commonwealth Games.

    It is Singh's first visit to China since assuming office in 2004.

    Global Newspaper Body Says China Neglecting Olympics Obligations

    The World Association of Newspapers and World Editors Forum have called on China to honor its international obligations and release all jailed journalists before the Beijing Olympics in August.

    In a letter to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Paris-based WAN and WEF demanded the immediate release of a journalist that has been detained for 12 years by China.

    The industry groups cite China's promise to “follow international standards” in its successful bid to host the Games.

    “In accordance with this pledge and numerous international conventions, declarations and agreements - including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - we call upon the Chinese authorities to free all jailed journalists ahead of the Olympics Games," the letter says.

    It says at least 30 journalists and 50 cyber-dissidents are being held in Chinese prisons.

    Beijing Briefs….

    Rain will play a part in the Beijing Opening Ceremony, it seems. Korean pop idol ‘Rain’ -- a star across much of Asia -- will sing the theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It is understood the 25-year-old whose real name is Ji-Hoon Jung, accepted the role when Chinese Olympics Organizers offered it last year.

    The third phase of mainland ticket sales for the Games will begin in April 2008, according to a BOCOG announcement. During this round, some 1,200,000 tickets will be on sale.

    An unauthorized "Beijing Olympic Venues Tourism and Transport Map" has recently been discovered and slammed by BOCOG. The committee announced that along with Beijing Olympics official licensee Sinomaps Press it is taking action against people involved in promoting the illegal product.

    China’s consumer rights watchdogs will be strengthening cooperation in preparation for the extra work expected to come with August’s Olympic games in Beijing. The Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection says it will discuss with cities holding Olympic events on a common approach to consumer rights for visitors. The commission says during the Special Olympics last year, officials gained valuable experience by successfully dealing with complaints from delegations and athletes' families.

    With reporting from Anthony Stavrinos in Sydney.

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