Friday, August 29, 2008

An Olympics Tradition?

Many were scandalized when the Beijing Olympic organizing committee revealed that Lin Miaoke, the girl who sang a patriotic song during the Olympics opening ceremony, was actually lip-synching over a recording by someone deemed less attractive by authorities. Some said it was indicative of the Chinese government’s reach of control.

But another revelation, this time by the Sydney Symphony, suggests that faking goes beyond the Chinese government and may even be an Olympic tradition.

The orchestra’s managing director told The Sydney Morning Herald that it not only mimed over a pre-recorded set for the opening of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but that some of the pieces were recorded by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Both orchestras were quoted in the story saying the miming act was done purely as a safeguard in case anything went wrong during the performance. They also said it was done only to save time, not because one of the orchestras was better than the other — or because of acid reflux, a la Ashlee Simpson.

According to the report, mimed orchestra performances are not unheard of. Directors of both orchestras said this was the case at both the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Rugby Union World Cup in 2003.

But miming at religious events is considered a strict no-no. As a spokesman for World Youth Day told the newspaper, music played during the Pope’s visit to the Sydney event did not permit faking because it was “an authentic expression of the prayer and song of those people at the time in that place.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

World's Biggest Airport - Beijing Airport! (part 5)

erminal 3
Terminal 3 opened in 2 stages: February 29, 2008 for trial operations and March 26, 2008 for business. It mainly houses Air China, Oneworld, Star Alliance, and other domestic and international flights. It is composed of three sections, C, D, and E (to avoid leading passengers to Terminal 1 or 2 when seeing the letters A and B). T3-C,D, and E are linked by an inter-terminal train.

[edit] Terminal 3C
Air China (Domestic) (Baotou, Changchun, Changde, Changsha, Changzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Daxian, Datong, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hailar, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Hohhot, Jinggangshan, Kunming, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Mianyang, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Nantong, Ningbo, Ordos, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Shantou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, Tongliao, Urumqi, Weihai, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xiangfan, Xilinhot, Xining, Xuzhou, Yancheng, Yanji, Yantai, Yinchuan, Yuncheng, Zhangjiajie, Zhengzhou, Zhuhai)
Shandong Airlines (Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai)
Shanghai Airlines (Hangzhou, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong)
Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Wanzhou)

Terminal 3D
This will be used for charter flights during the Beijing Olympics, then will be used for international flights.

Terminal 3E

Terminal 3 waiting area with Air China lounge on the rightAir China (International) (Athens, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Busan, Daegu, Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Malé [seasonal], Manchester [begins March 2009], Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa [begins October 2009], Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Munich, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Pyongyang, Rome-Fiumicino, Saipan [seasonal], San Francisco, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Sapporo-Chitose, Sendai, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Stockholm-Arlanda, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Toronto-Pearson [begins March 2009], Tokyo-Narita, Ulaanbaatar, Vancouver, Vienna [begins October 2009], Warsaw [begins October 2008], Washington-Dulles [begins March 2009], Yangon, Zurich [begins March 2009])
Air Canada (Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver)
Air Macau (Macau)
Air New Zealand (Auckland) [begins July 18]
All Nippon Airways (Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita)
American Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare) [begins March 25, 2009]
Asiana Airlines (Busan, Cheongju, Gwangju, Seoul-Incheon)
Austrian Airlines (Vienna)
British Airways (London-Heathrow)
Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)
Dragonair (Hong Kong)
EgyptAir (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Cairo)
El Al (Tel Aviv)
Emirates Airline (Dubai)
Finnair (Helsinki)
Hainan Airlines (International) (Algiers [Begins 2008], Berlin-Tegel [begins May 19], Brussels, Budapest, Chicago-O'Hare [begins June 2009] , Dubai, Geneva [awaiting gov't approval], Luanda [pending gov't approval], Novosibirsk,Newark [begins October 2009] [13], Osaka-Kansai, Seattle/Tacoma [begins June 9],St. Petersburg)
Japan Airlines (Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Tookyo-Narita)
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw)
Lufthansa (Frankfurt, Munich)
Qantas (Sydney)
Qatar Airways (Doha)
S7 Airlines (Irkutsk, Novosibirsk)
Scandinavian Airlines System (Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda)
Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
Thai Airways International (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi)
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk)
United Airlines (Chicago-O'Hare, San Francisco, Washington-Dulles)
US Airways (Philadelphia) [begins March 25, 2009]

Cargo airlines
Aeroflot-Cargo (Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Novosibirsk)
Air China Cargo (Anchorage, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Portland (OR))
AirBridgeCargo Airlines (Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, St. Petersburg)
Cargolux (Luxembourg)
FedEx Express (Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai-Pudong)
Korean Air Cargo (Seoul-Incheon)
Malaysia Airlines Kargo (Kuala Lumpur)
SAS Cargo Group (Copenhagen, Shanghai-Pudong, Stockholm-Arlanda)
Singapore Airlines Cargo (Singapore)
TESIS Aviation Enterprise (Kemerovo, Novosibirsk)
Volga-Dnepr (Krasnoyarsk)

World's Biggest Airport - Beijing Airport! (part 4)

World's Biggest Airport - Beijing Airport! (part 3)

World's Biggest Airport - Beijing Airport! (part 2)

World's Biggest Airport - Beijing Airport! (part 1)

Beijing Capital International Airport, (simplified Chinese: 北京首都国际机场; traditional Chinese: 北京首都國際機場; pinyin: Běijīng Shǒudū Guójì Jīchǎng) (IATA: PEK, ICAO: ZBAA) is the main international airport that serves the capital city of Beijing, People's Republic of China. The IATA Airport Code is PEK, reflecting Beijing's former Romanization Peking. The code BJS is also frequently used, reflecting the current pinyin spelling of Beijing and including all airports in the Beijing metropolitan area; currently, Beijing Capital (PEK) is the only civil aviation airport that falls under BJS.

The airport is located 20 km to the northeast of Beijing city center. Although many consider it to lie in Shunyi District, it is, in fact, an exclave of Chaoyang District, Beijing.

The airport is a primary hub of operations for Air China, which flies to around 120 destinations (excluding cargo). It is also a hub for Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines. The airport expansion is largely funded by a 500-million-euro (USD 625 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan is the largest ever granted by the EIB in Asia; the agreement was signed during the eighth China-EU Summit held in September 2005.

Beijing Capital is today the busiest airport in the People's Republic of China, having registered double-digit growth annually since the SARS crisis of 2003. In 2004, it became the busiest airport in Asia by aircraft movements, overtaking Tokyo International Airport (Haneda). In terms of passengers, Beijing was the second-busiest airport in Asia after Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and ninth-busiest worldwide in 2006. In 2007, it served 53,736,923 passengers and had 399,986 aircraft movements. It was the 23rd busiest airport in terms of traffic movements. It is also the 20th busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic, having moved 1,028,908 million tonnes of cargo in 2006. It operates around 1100 flights a day, and is expected to rise to 1500-1600 at the Olympics in 2008. [From Wiki]

Michael Phelps the greatest olympics champion of all time

Womens Gymnastics Team Finals - Yang Yilin VT

France, Georgia get first Olympic golds in Beijing

Both French and Georgian wrestlers won their respective nations first Olympic golds in Beijing Olympics Wednesday afternoon.

Both winners wore their national flags to agitate hails from their countrymen who arrived at the wrestling venue for cheeringup their national heroes.

Steeve Guenot defeated Kanatbek Begaliev of Kyrgyzstan in the men's 66kg Greco-Roman competition before Manuchar Kvirkelia beat the host wrestler Chang Yongxiang in the men's 74kg class.

Guenot, a subway employee who trained part time, said, "I'm really proud and this is my happiest time in my life to win France the first gold in the Olympics. All my family and friends are here and I think the gold medal is the best gift for them."

Guenot's family were also the happiest because the elder brother Christophe Guenot added a bronze for France in the men's 74kg competition. "There is no secret. Our father taught us the value of hard work," Christophe Guenot said.

France sends a strong Olympic team to Beijing but their medal board lacked the color of gold before the Guenot brothers' feats, with only seven silvers and two bronzes in most time into the fifth day at Beijing Olympics.

Similar to Guenot, Kvirkelia obtained a comfortable victory over his Chinese rival with his artful skills and great experience. The 23-year-old Chang, standing tearful on the victory podium, has continued making feats since his first round when he defeated world champion Yavor Yanakiev of Bulgaria, who finished the bronze in today's competition.

Chang said, "I was so upset not to win China a gold although this is the best result of the men wrestlers in the Olympics."

"He (Kvirkelia) was obviously better than I," Chang said. After Chang's securing a final berth this morning, his coach helped him prepare a lot in a bid to get the gold.

China eventually lost the title to a country that has not yet gotten a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics.

A veteran wrestler who won a world championships bronze medal in 2006, Kvirkelia said, "My country is now in a difficult situation and I'm dedicating this gold to the Georgian people who will feel better."

Both Armen Vardanyan of Ukrain and Mikhail Siamionau of Belarus won the bronze medals in the men's 66kg class. Together with Frenchman Guenot, Bulgarian Yanakiev got another bronze in the men's 74kg competition.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Terror threats, smog but also hope for the greatest show on earth

CHINA yesterday insisted the Olympics would be the best ever – despite a rising terror threat, unprecedented security and thick smog.
Last-minute preparations gathered pace in Beijing as the countdown continued to what is being billed as the most spectacular opening ceremony in the Games' history.
And Chinese leaders stepped up their efforts to reassure the world they could provide a safe environment for visitors and athletes in the wake of this week's separatist attacks. Sun Weide, an official on the Games' organising committee, said security was the "foundation and a key part of the event".

He added: "We are confident and capable of holding a safe Olympic Games under the leadership of the Chinese government and with the help of the international community."

But Dr Kerry Brown, associate fellow on the Asia Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said Muslim extremists would see the Beijing Olympics as a "once in a lifetime opportunity" and that the massive Chinese security effort will make a successful attack "unlikely, but not impossible".

"It will be too much to let it go for them, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to hit the people they regard as oppressors," he said. "There is a lot of anger and hatred and it would draw attention to their cause and hurt the people they regard as oppressors."

The warning follows the bloody attack on Monday which has proved a setback for a Chinese government trying to present an image of national stability. Two members of the largely Muslim Uighur minority have been accused of killing 16 border police and injuring 16 others in China's Western region.

Alim Seytoff, general secretary of the Washington-based Uighur American Association, yesterday said the attack pointed to discontent over Chinese controls on religion and the expanding ethnic Han Chinese presence in Xinjiang.

The beating by police yesterday of two Japanese journalists reporting on the attacks drew an official apology, but Beijing also set new obstacles for news outlets wanting to report from Tiananmen Square.

Meanwhile, the Olympic stadium in Beijing has been enveloped in smog in the run-up to the Games, despite drastic measures to improve air quality.

Controversy has dogged the event since China successfully bid for it, and the global Olympic torch relay was beset by protests against the country's human rights record and treatment of Tibet. And the International Olympics Committee yesterday warned the protests could stop the event happening ahead of London 2012, with Dick Pound, a Canadian senior IOC figure, calling for an end to the parade.

China has invested about £20 billion in the Games and analysts say the country may emerge with an even stronger economy for all its lavish spending.

Andy Rothman, an economist with brokerage CLSA in Shanghai, said: "The majority of the money accounts for permanent infrastructure, stuff that we think, long term, will be productive for the Chinese economy."

However, Dr Yiyi Lu, a research fellow at the China Policy Institute, part of the University of Nottingham, warned against overemphasising the impact the Olympics would have on the country's global standing.

Women's Football: Champions make stumbling start

There are still two days to go before the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games officially open, but that did not stop the Women's Football Tournament from getting underway on Wednesday. Intense heat and high humidity were the order of the day as reigning champions the USA opened their defence with a defeat. Elsewhere, Germany and Brazil shared the spoils after a fierce duel and China PR gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about with a win over Sweden.

The big game
As if being hampered by the absence of their most deadly finisher was not bad enough, the USA promptly conceded the two quickest goals in the history of the tournament when they took on Norway in Qinhuangdao. There was no way back for the 2004 champions after the Scandinavians' early double salvo, especially with the lethal Abby Wambach sidelined through injury. And although the Americans moved the ball around gamely, their opponents, ably marshalled by the veteran Solveig Gulbrandsen, held onto their lead without too much discomfort.

The other games
In a repeat of the final of the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007, Germany and Brazil served up a tense encounter in which the Canarinha enjoyed the better chances. It all ended goalless, however, much to the disappointment of the watching Ronaldinho and his team-mates, who were among the VIP guests at the Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.

That result helped Korea DPR take an early lead in Group F after they edged out Nigeria 1-0. The scoreline flattered the Africans, who were indebted to some wayward Korean finishing and goalkeeper Precious Dede for escaping a heavier defeat.

Hosts China PR were clearly inspired by the occasion as they took to the field against Sweden in Tianjin. Pu Wei put the Steel Roses ahead early on, only for the Swedes to eventually get to grips with the humid conditions and reply just before half time through Lotta Schelin. But with nearly 38,000 fans cheering them on, China PR secured the points thanks to a fine strike from Han Duan.

Nevertheless, the win was not enough to give the hosts first place in Group E, that honour going to Canada, who had too much power and experience up front for Argentina. Candace Chapman and Kara Lang set the Canucks on their way, while Ludmila Manicler picked up a consolation goal five minutes from the end for the Albiceleste, who can at least take heart from an improvement on their showings at China 2007.

Japan pulled off the comeback of the day. Trailing a boldly impressive New Zealand side 2-0 with less than 20 minutes remaining, the Nadeshiko never gave up, and were rewarded for their persistence with a valuable point.

The player
Marta could be forgiven for having recurring nightmares about German keeper Nadine Angerer. It was Angerer who kept out her penalty in the final at China 2007, and the shot-stopper was at it again on Wednesday, ensuring that the latest meeting between the sides ended in a goalless draw. The German No1 kept a clean sheet in every game at last year's FIFA Women's World Cup and showcased her superb reflexes and flawless positioning with two spectacular stops from Cristiane and Marta. The question now is, can she go unbeaten at Beijing 2008?

The stat
2 - The number of minutes it took for Norway's Leni Larsen Kaurin to give the USA that sinking feeling in their Group G opener. Coming after just 69 seconds, Kaurin's strike was the quickest in the history of the tournament and was followed just two minutes later by a second Norwegian goal from Melissa Wiik, which equalled the competition's previous fastest, scored by Germany's Pia Wunderlich against Brazil at Atlanta 1996.

What they said

"I thought both sides came out full of confidence and it was a tough battle for the first five minutes. Unfortunately we lost that battle and the two early goals made things much more difficult for us. We're disappointed to lose but we'll be working hard to get back on track against Japan."
Christie Rampone, USA captain.

The results
Argentina 1-2 Canada
Germany 0-0 Brazil
Japan 2-2 New Zealand
China PR 2-1 Sweden
Korea DPR 1-0 Nigeria
Norway 2-0 USA

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Theme Song

2008 Summer Olympics - Welcome Song

U.S. cyclists wear masks upon arrival in Beijing

Some American cyclists were wearing black masks when they arrived today at the airport in Beijing.

"I suspect it was their choice, you would have to talk to them as to what prompted them to do this," Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee tells Reuters. "I will say this: I am not a scientist, but in my view that was unnecessary."

The level of pollutants in the air was particularly bad yesterday. Right now, Beijing is "shrouded in a light gray haze," according to the Associated Press.

Q1x00249_9 The International Olympic Committee will receive hourly updates about air pollution when the games begin Aug. 8, but one official says he's "confident the air quality will not prove to pose major problems."

Arne Ljungqvist, head of the IOC medical commission, tells AP that public perceptions are part of the problem.

"The mist in the air that we see in those places, including here, is not a feature of pollution primarily but a feature of evaporation and humidity," Ljungqvist said. "We do have a communication problem here. Once the misconception has become sort of established in the minds of people, it's not that easy to get the right message through."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


The Chinese authorities guarantee that the Olympic Games will be safe. Three days before the opening of the Games and 24 hours after the terrorist attack in the Xinijang region in which 16 policemen were killed, Beijing issued a precise message: "We are able to guarantee safe and peaceful Olympic Games", said Sun Weide, spokesman of the Organising Committee of Beijing 2008. The terrorist threat from the region with a Muslim majority, mostly of Uyghur ethnic origin, remains though. Yesterday at 8am local time (2am in Italy) two man used a lorry to ram into a police station in Kashgar and throw two hand grenades, after which they attacked the agents with knives. The attackers have been arrested.

Summer Olympics 2008 Cities

Summer Olympics 2008, China

China will host the prestigious Summer Olympics in 2008. Already, Olympics fever has gripped China and we'll probaby see another exciting Olympics in 2008. The two cities that will host the Olympics in China are Beijing, which is the nations capital and Qingdao, a seaside city in the province of Shandong, in north-east China. Let's get to know these two Olympics cities better.


Beijing is the capital for China. It was also a capital for the last two monarchies that ruled China before being overthrown by Sun Yat Sun in 1911 and has been the capital since Mao Tse Tung declared China a People's Republic in 1949.

Beijing is located in northern China, close to Tianjin Municipality and partially surrounded by Hebei Province. The city covers an area of more than 16,800 square kilometers (6,487 square miles) and has a population of 13.82 million people. Beijing is at its best in late spring and autumn, particularly during the months of May, September, and October when people can enjoy bright sunshine and blue skies.

As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is the nation's political, economic, cultural and educational center as well as being the China's most important center for international trade and communications. It has been the heart and soul of politics and society throughout its long history and consequently there is an unparalleled wealth of discovery to delight and intrigue travelers as they explore Beijing's ancient past and enjoy its exciting modern development.

Beijing is also the tourist capital of China, boasting of favourite tourist sites such as :

Great Wall of China

Forbidden City

Summer Palace

Temple of Heaven

Ming tombs

Tiananmen Square.

Beijing will also be the host for the Summer Olympics in 2008. Already, Olympics fever has gripped the city as construction of new buildings, hotels and stadiums, sprucing of tourist facilities, cleaning up of air and water pollution takes on a fervent pace.


Qingdao is a bustling city located in Shandong province, in the North East of China. Qingdao will be the site for sailing events for the Summer Olympics as Beijing is not by the sea.

Qingdao city lies on undulating hills with luxuriantly green trees and buildings noted for their attractive architectural styles. The red colour of the tiled roves, green colour of the trees thills and blue of the sea contrast beautifully. All this along with its beautiful climate, make the city well-known as a summer and health resort.

The city occupies an area of 10 654 km2. The city is located in flatlands, with mountains spurring up nearby. The highest elevation in the area is 1133 m above sea level. The city has a 730.64-kilometer coastline. Five significant rivers that flow for more than 50 km can be found in the region.

Qingdao is estimated to be the home for more than 7 million inhabitants, of which around 2.6 million is residing in the Qingdao urban area.

Qingdao enjoys mild summers and relatively warm winters, with the average July temperature at 23.8°C and the average January temperature at -0.7°C. The city gets most rain in June and July, at an average of 150 mm.

Qingdao has very strong German influence in the 19th century and many German influenced buildings can still be seen. In fact, Qingdao beer is famous throughout the world, and every year, hundreds of thousands of people, both local and overseas gather in Qingdao for the annual Beer festival.

Qingdao attracts many tourists due to its seaside setting and excellent weather. Parks, beaches and sculpture -- as well as some unique architecture -- line the shore. Qingdao's major attractions include:

- Ba Da Guan, the older area of town with some surviving German architecture.

- Laoshan, a famous Taoist mountain.

- Lu Xun Park, named after Lu Xun, a famous modern Chinese writer.

- Qingdao Beer Museum, on the site of the old brewery.

- Qingdao Naval Museum

- Qingdao International Beer City, the primary site of the annual Qingdao International Beer Festival.

- Qingdao Underwater World

- St. Michael's Cathedral, a Gothic/Roman cathedral designed by German architect Pepieruch, completed in 1934.

- Zhan Qiao (Zhan Pier)

- Zhanshan Temple, Qingdao's only Buddhist temple.

Qingdao has such nice weather and scenary that the China ruling party has a large rest and retirement santuary in Qingdao for it's retired cadres.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bijak will compete for Germany in Olympics

Utah gymnast Daria Bijak is within months of having a lifelong dream realized after she was selected Tuesday to represent Germany in the 2008 Olympics.
Bijak was named to the team after she placed fourth in Germany's national championships Saturday.
Bijak was selected to the 2000 Olympic team but ruptured her Achilles' tendon and couldn't compete. Germany didn't qualify for the 2004 Olympics.
The sophomore from Cologne, Germany, recently completed her sophomore year for the Utes, helping them to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
"She is so excited," said Utah coach Greg Marsden, who spoke to Bijak on Tuesday. "This has been her dream and only a handful of college gymnasts have gone on to compete in the Olympics after starting college."
If she avoids any injuries and competes, she will be the fourth Olympian in Utah's gymnastics program, joining Missy Marlowe (1988, USA), current Ute team member Gael Mackie (Canada, 2004) and Cheryl Weatherstone (Britain, 1984).
"The requirements are so different from college, it's hard to train for both," Marsden said of the international competitions. "She started right after our season was over to get ready for the qualifying meets."
Marsden acknowledged Bijak's busy offseason could possibly leave her burnt out as the college season begins, but said that is a trade-off he is willing to make.
The Olympics have been her dream since she was a little girl," he said. "If you really care about someone you have to support them and help them accomplish their dreams."

2008 Olympics not on TV?

According to Time magazine, there are various organizational problems occurring that could lead to the Olympics not being broadcast on television. A series of unworkable conditions are being created for networks including limits on live coverage in Tiananmen Square and allegations that freight shipments of TV broadcasting equipment are being held up in Chinese ports.

The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to begin on August 8th. According to the minutes of a May 29th meeting, procedures which have been used by broadcasters in other Olympics are conflicting with China's authoritarian government. Some plans are months behind schedule, which could force broadcasters to compromise coverage plans.

The Chinese are very concerned about something going wrong - and so they are in Olympic gridlock," said John Barton, director of sport for the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, which represents broadcasters in 57 countries. "This is the greatest moment in their sporting history," Barton said. "They've built a stage on which they want to perform, but they are rather queasy about how it should be shown."
All I can say is when you try to make deals with a totalitarian government, you get what you pay for.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

China's security preparations for the Beijing Olympics

The head of the world's largest police organization, Interpol, says he is satisfied with China's security preparations for the Beijing Olympics. He was speaking at Interpol's Asian Regional Conference in Hong Kong, where senior law enforcement officials from across Asia discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in combating crime - ranging from sex attacks on children to cyber crime. Claudia Blume reports from Hong Kong.

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble praised China's security preparations for the Olympics, when he opened the police organization's Asian meeting in Hong Kong, Monday.

"We have been working very closely with China, in this regard, for years now and especially this year," he said. "I have made one personal trip to China for the purpose of seeing the progress being made and, as I said, the progress is significant and the preparations are of the highest possible standard."

But he urged China to remain prudent, saying any international event can be a potential terrorist target.

One of the main themes of this year's Interpol Asia conference is the tracing and apprehending of child-sex offenders in the region. He says many perpetrators are from outside Asia and often travel from one country to another, making their identification and arrest difficult.

"What do we do as an international police organization if we know someone is engaged in this kind of sexual activity against the child victims and we know he is moving from one country to another country, because we don't have an arrest warrant? How can we stop his travel? Is there a way for the country of his nationality to suspend his passport and only allow him to return home? It is very complicated. These are the kind of issues we want to discuss during the conference," said Noble.

Other topics of the meeting include combating transnational intellectual property crime as well as so-called cyber crime. This includes international Internet fraud schemes as well as what Noble calls "cyber-terrorism" - sabotaging computer systems of governments or businesses.

Noble says there are many examples of the successful cooperation between Interpol and police in Asia. Last year, for example, "Operation Soga" against illegal soccer betting, led to the arrest of more than 400 people in countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The largest airport terminal in the world - Beijing Capital International Airport’s Terminal

China inaugurated the largest airport terminal in the world on Friday, a soaring golden-roofed structure evoking a flying dragon.

Nearly 2 miles long, the $3.8 billion terminal, which covers 240 acres, is the world’s largest covered structure.

“Our Chinese people should be very proud when they pass in and out of this airport,” Aviation Minister Li Jiaxiang told journalists.

Employing 50,000 laborers at the peak of construction, the terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport was built in three years and nine months to cope with the expected deluge of visitors to the Beijing Summer Olympics.

“It was incredibly fast. Even by Chinese standards, it was fast,” said Rory McGowan, a director of the London-based engineering firm Arup, one of several partners on the project.

One of the 10 busiest airports in the world, Beijing’s airport handled 53.5 million passengers last year, far above its capacity of 35 million. With the new terminal, the airport can handle 96 million passengers a year and 1,590 flights a day. By 2012, the airport will become one of the five busiest in the world.

Terminal 3, as the new terminal is called, is double the size of two other terminals. Even with the addition, however, China’s aviation growth will make the airport suffer overcrowding again within seven years, experts say.

British architect Norman Foster, the terminal’s designer, noted the building’s scale in a statement to the Chinese news media this week: “It’s so big that under a certain amount of light you can’t see one end of the building from the other.”

The terminal has 64 restaurants, 175 escalators, 173 elevators and 437 moving sidewalks — but no bookstore that sells foreign-language periodicals. Censorship is still imposed in China, and average Chinese are not exposed to the kinds of critical views common in the media of democratic countries.

Without a critical press or political opposition, Chinese officials summarily moved nine

Beijing Subway Map
Simple Rube Golberg 3D animaton

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Beijing Subway Map

Beijing-2008 Subway Map
Beijing Subway Map

Beijing Map 2008

Beijing Map 2008

Beijing Summer Olympics: Before Olympics begin, Net's already a winner

The first javelin has yet to be tossed at the Beijing Summer Olympics, but Bill Barney already knows the biggest winner: the Internet.

"This is going to be the Internet Olympics," said Barney, chief executive of Pacnet, a Hong Kong deep-sea fiber-optic cable network operator.

He should know. Barney, who announced this week that his company is the largest investor in a consortium that includes Google to build a new trans-Pacific cable, keeps a close eye on the increasing traffic jams caused by Internet users.

"It's the new killer app, which is video," he said. He expects Olympic history to be captured on video cameras - or even cell phones. And sports fans will be sending those images to friends and family across the globe.

Barney figures he'll be able to know which countries are scoring gold medals simply by monitoring traffic. If Team Romania does well in gymnastics, he expects to see a spike in activity between Beijing and Eastern Europe.

Chinese authorities, who are also grappling with a domestic Internet boom, are gearing up. China, with some 210 million Internet users, is expected to have the world's largest online community this year.

"They've been ramping up for the last four months," Barney said. "We can't install capacity fast enough for the Chinese. They are just chewing through bandwidth."

HIGH-TECH HOMES: "Smart Homes" are coming to downtown San Jose.

M3Pods will give future homeowners at Three Sixty Residences the ability to control their lights, cameras and all the other electronic action in their high-rise condos from anywhere in the world.

"It's everything in a box," said Blake Tablak, principal with the company. "It's the future."

Tablak said last fall he offered the device to Charles Young, director of Mesa Development's San Jose project, which is building Three Sixty. Young, he said, liked it and decided to offer the option in the company's 23-story high-rise that will be finished in spring 2009.

"Mesa is the first," Tablak said.

M3Pods are developed by the company of the same name, which is headquartered in Atlanta but set up an office in San Jose a year ago.

With the M3Pod you can flip the switches for your lights, security system or even program a TV show to watch when you get home. You can also play music from your home collection on a cell phone or a PC with speakers anywhere in the world.

The devices, which will add $8,000 to $13,000 to the cost of each condo, are wireless gadgets that work via radio frequency and provide access from a browser, which can be your cell phone. The units at Three Sixty range in size from 800 to 3,440 square feet, and in price from the high $500,000s to more than $2 million.

nissan maxima 2009

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Chief of 2012 Olympics visits Morocco

Chief of 2012 Olympics visits Morocco to promote youth sports
Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic Games, met with Moroccan officials and athletes Monday (January 7th) to discuss how to promote sports among young people.

"Few countries are able to boast of having such sports stars as Nawal Al Moutawakil, Said Aouita and Hicham El Guerrouj", Lord Coe said at a press conference in Casablanca. "It's a great honour for me to be in Morocco, a country that has contributed so much to sport in general and athletics in particular."

According to Lord Coe, his discussion with National Athletics Federation President Abdessalem Ahizoune was quite relaxed. "We talked about a range of topics directly or indirectly affecting athletics in Morocco, with the sole purpose of bringing sport up to speed just four years ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London," he explained, adding that the big challenge today is getting young people to take up athletics rather than other activities. He emphasised that realising this goal is in everyone's best interest.

Legendary Moroccan athlete Hicham El Guerrouj said, "When I learned that Lord Coe had come to Morocco, I left Nice in France straight away to come and meet him, because he was always a role model for me." It is a great honour, the former Olympic and world champion said, to work with Coe on youth athletics in Morocco and elsewhere.

Nawal El Moutawakil, named Minister for Youth and Sports by King Mohammed VI last month, also appeared with Lord Coe at the press conference. She said Morocco needs the know-how of a great champion like Sebastian Coe to move forward in athletics. "I met Lord Coe at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, and for me he was a model to emulate, especially in his determination to succeed," said the minister.

In 1984, El Moutawakil became the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and, as president of the IOC Evaluation Commission, helped choose the host nation for the 2012 Games. London won the rights to organise the Olympic Games, beating out Paris, New York, Moscow and Madrid.

The new minister is also vice-chair of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sports programmes as a "universal language" to battle crime and drugs, "break down the barriers of war-torn nations and regenerate forgotten communities".

Sebastian Coe broke the world records for the 800 m, 1500 m and mile in the 1980's. He has been Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic Games since 2005. He is also Vice-President of the International Athletics Federation.

Louis is ready to take on the best at Beijing Olympics

Anti-doping body for 2012

First Trojan for iPhone App

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The complete guide to: Beijing 2008 Olympic travel

The world's first sporting arena was at Olympia in the Greek western
Pelopponese. A five-day festival of chariot and horse-racing, long-jumping and
foot-racing was held every four years from 776BC until the Games were abolished
nearly 1,200 years later. Happily, a fair amount of ancient Olympia is still
intact. Down the centuries, the site has been hit by two earthquakes and severe
floods, and the site was almost consumed by forest fires that engulfed the
region last August, claiming 63 lives. The field and the surrounding buildings
and temples are now overlooked by a hillside of charred trees.
The flames came within a few metres of the rectangular field that was
rediscovered only in the 19th century. Years of careful excavation have made
sense of the tangle of fallen columns and stones, assisted by scale models in
the adjacent museum. The temple of Zeus, three times the size of the Parthenon,
has not survived but another, dedicated to Hera, has been almost wholly
reconstructed, and its magnificent 4th-century BC statue of Hermes is on display
in the museum. Other sights include a monument containing the heart of the
founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who died in 1937.
Ancient Olympia (which reopened within two days of the fires) opens every day
from 8.30am-3pm (November-March) and 8am-7.30pm (April-October). The admission
charge of €9
You can reach Olympia by flying to Athens and travelling overland to the far
west of the peninsula. Olympia's largest hotel is the Europa International (1
Drouva Street; 00 30 2624 022650; A double room, including hot breakfast, can
be secured online for €64 (£45) until the end of March. A good, family-run
alternative is Hotel Pelops (Varela 2; 00 30 2624 022 543;, in the
heart of the village about 800m from the archaeological site. Double rooms, with
buffet breakfast, are €54 (£38).
No one with a sense of history or a love of sport will fail to be moved by
the experience of standing on the field where man, for the first time in
recorded history, found a competitive alternative to warfare.
The organisers of the Athens games in 2004 paid homage to Olympia by staging
the shot-put finals there, and in March the Olympic torch will be lit there,
from the rays of the sun, before being relayed around the world to Beijing. The
first stop will be the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, built around 330BC and
gloriously reconstructed for the first modern Games in 1896, thanks to a wealthy
Athenian benefactor. In the eyes of Greeks and of the Olympic movement,
Panathinaiko has iconic status. Lying just east of the National Gardens, it is
the only stadium in the world constructed entirely out of marble. It did further
Olympic service in 2004, hosting the archery competition and the finish of the
Marathon, but its elongated shape, like a giant paperclip, makes it unsuitable
for most modern sports. On 30 March, the 2,300-year-old stadium will witness the
passing of the flaming Olympic baton from the Greeks to the Chinese.
The flame takes a 137,000km journey through every continent except Antarctica
over a period of four months. The torch is scheduled to pass through London on 6
April, San Francisco (9 April), Buenos Aires (11 April) and Canberra (24 April),
before reaching Hong Kong on 2 May at the start of a tour of China and Tibet.
The highlight – literally – will be an attempt to take the flame to the summit
of Mount Everest: a second torch will be left with a group of mountaineers who
are planning an ascent in May.
Is Beijing ready for the games?
In contrast to Athens 2004, whose Olympic building programme only just met
the deadline, the Chinese capital is well ahead of schedule. In fact, some of
the 15 new venues were completed more than a year ago, prompting the IOC
President Jacques Rogge to urge the organising committee to slow the work down,
so that Olympic venues wouldn't be left standing empty for long periods.
The centrepiece is the Swiss-designed National Stadium, handily located in
the north of the city near the international airport, with a latticed outer
structure resembling a giant bird's nest. It can seat 91,000 spectators, but
it's been reported that four times that number of people were removed from their
homes to make way for it – without being compensated.
The main stadium is not yet finished, but don't doubt for a second that
everything will be ready for the opening ceremony, which starts at 08:08:08pm
(local time) on, you guessed it, 08-08-08. The airport has a new, third terminal
to cope with the Olympic traffic, and Beijing's metro is being almost trebled in
size, with seven new lines and 90 new stations. That apart, the most obvious
sign that the Olympics are coming to town are the hundreds of official
merchandise stores already doing brisk business.
Beijing's urban poor notwithstanding, China has embraced the Olympic movement
with enthusiasm, and its sportsmen and women are expected to challenge the
Americans at the head of the medals table next year. Sportsworld Travel (01235
554844; is the official ticket agent of the
British Olympic Association, and the only UK company authorised to request
tickets from the Beijing organising committee. The company will do this on a
monthly basis according to demand, and will organise your accommodation, airport
transfers and Chinese visa. Flights to and from Beijing, however, are not
included. The cheapest package costs £850, for a four-night visit between August
17-21, just in time to see Paula Radcliffe's attempt to win the women's
marathon. If your application is successful, a day watching the athletics finals
at the main stadium will cost from £63, including handling charges.
Where best to explore the Olympic past?
The headquarters of the Olympic movement is in a city that has never staged
the Games, and is never likely to. Baron de Coubertin founded the International
Olympic Committee in Paris in 1894, but it moved to Lausanne after the First
World War because of Switzerland's neutrality. In the rolling gardens of Olympic
Park, a cunningly concealed piece of modern architecture houses the world's
finest collection of Olympic memorabilia. The Musée Olympique at 1 Quay d'Ouchy
(00 41 21 621 6511; has permanent exhibitions devoted to the
summer and winter games, and an Olympic Hall of Fame. Plenty of athletes have
provided historic items of kit. On display are Carl Lewis's golden running
shoes, Chris Boardman's bicycle, which revolutionised the sport at Barcelona in
1992, and Jean-Claude Killy's boots, which the French skier modified after an
injury in a car crash, whereupon he won the slalom, giant slalom and downhill
races at Grenoble in 1968. Serious students of Olympic history can pore through
some of the uo 18,000 books and 17,500 hours of film and video footage in the
library, and enjoy panoramic views of Geneva and the Alps from the rooftop
restaurant and terrace. The museum opens 9am-6pm daily (except Mondays between
November and March); admission is 15 Swiss francs (£7).
Lausanne is most easily reached by flying to Geneva and taking the train
direct from the airport station in less than an hour. Alternatively, you can get
there by train from London St Pancras via Paris through Eurostar (08705 186 186; ).
Where next?
All the modern Olympic stadia survive, but some have fallen from grace. The
most obscure is Francis Field, which hosted the St Louis Games of 1904. Now used
by students at Washington University, safety regulations have reduced its
capacity to just 4,000. But it is worth taking a look if you find yourself in St
Louis, the "gateway to the West" which has daily flights from Gatwick on
American Airlines (08457 789 789;
The Olympic Stadiums of Antwerp (1920), Amsterdam (1928) and Barcelona (1992)
are now the home grounds of lowly professional football teams, although
Amsterdam hosted Ajax FC for some years; it also boasts the best Olympic museum
outside Lausanne.
The Olympic Experience in the Dutch capital is currently celebrating the
spread of the Games to China; it is located at Marathon Port (00 31 20 305 4400;
on tram routes 16 and 24 from Centraal station, and opens 11am-5pm daily except
Monday; admission €5(£3.50).
Another feature of the Amsterdam stadium is its Marathon Tower, with four
open balconies at the top which were fitted with what, in 1928, was the novel
facility of loudspeakers to keep the crowd informed.
The Olympic Stadium in Helsinki (1952) has a taller tower, 72m high, that
still dominates the city skyline. On the outskirts of Paris, the stadium that
hosted the 1924 Chariots of Fire Olympiad has been overtaken by developments
elsewhere in the city. Known as Stade Colombes, it was the pride and joy of
French sport until the Parc des Princes opened in 1972. These days, Colombes has
to make do with club rugby, but it still has a special aura about it. The
stadium is a 15-minute train ride from Gare St-Lazare, on the line to
None of these ageing venues, however, has suffered misfortune on the scale of
Montreal (1976) and Moscow (1980). The Montreal Games were in trouble long
before a starting gun was fired. Labour disputes and technical glitches delayed
the construction of the main stadium – an ambitious affair designed with an
external tower to control the retractable roof. The Olympics began with neither
roof nor tower in place; in fact, the complex took another 14 years to complete,
with the cost mounting so high that the city paid off its Olympic debt only in
As one mishap followed another, the stadium became variously known as " The
Big Owe", "Uh-O" and "The Big Mistake": there was a serious fire, bits fell off,
beams snapped, the roof didn't work properly, the weight of snow one winter led
to a further collapse of masonry, and the floor of one of the Olympic pools fell
in during a water therapy session for senior citizens.
Montreal's stadium is now described as a "multi-purpose facility", which is
another way of saying it has very little purpose at all, and its demolition has
been proposed. However, it remains the city's most eye-catching piece of
architecture – and a big tourist attraction. Half-hour guided tours of the
complex (001 514 252 4141; start at 10am in summer; 11am in winter
(C$8/£4.10), and you can take a cable car (C$9/£4.10) to the top of the leaning
tower that looms over the arena like a preying mantis, and provides wonderful
views of the city. The nearest Metro station is Vian.
At the height of the Cold War, the focal point of Moscow's much-boycotted
Olympic Games was known as "The Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium ". This
is where Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett fought two epic duels over 800m and
1500m, but two years later it was the scene of a ghastly spectator stampede near
the end of a football match, which claimed the lives of at least 66 people.
The stadium, now named the Luzhniki Olympic Complex, has since been
extensively modernised and is due to stage next year's Uefa Cup Final, but the
authorities are still unhappy with the entry and exit facilities.
Which Olympic venues survived the test of time?
Just as London intends to show off the likes of Tower Bridge and Buckingham
Palace on its planned 2012 marathon route, the organisers of the Rome Olympiad
of 1960 made a point of staging events in and around notable landmarks. The
Stadio Olimpico itself had already been built in the Foro Italico; the wrestling
competition was held in the 4th century Basilica of Maxentius (open 9am-7pm;
admission €7.80/£5.50); the gymnastics at the 3rd century Caracalla Baths (open
9am until an hour before sunset; admission €6/£4.20), and the marathon ended
under the Constantine Arch on the Appian Way.
You approach the Stadio Olimpico along a pavement lined with pleasing
classical statues, but every slab of paving is dedicated to Mussolini: the
slogan "Il Duce ...Il Duce ...Il Duce" dogs your every step. For some reason,
the Rome authorities never bothered replacing them. Despite these fascist
undertones, the stadium has enjoyed a glittering life, hosting football's World
Cup Final in 1990.
The other Olympic city tarnished by fascism is Berlin. The 1936 Games were
inaugurated by Adolf Hitler, who was in the stadium to witness the arrival of
the first Olympic Torch, borne aloft by an unquestionably Aryan, blond male
athlete. Somehow, the giant concrete edifice in the Grunewald Forest west of the
city survived the ferocious Allied bombardment of 1945 with only minor damage,
and it later survived a strong public campaign for its demolition.
In 2006, like Rome's Stadio Olimpico, Berlin's totally remodelled stadium
hosted the World Cup Final. West of the main arena the original Olympic bell
tower has been rebuilt, but without the bronze bell that sounded the opening of
the Games. This is mounted immediately outside the stadium, with its engraved
swastika clearly visible.
The 77m tower (00 49 30 305 8123; contains a two-floor
exhibition of Olympic history in German and English, and a glass lift to an
observation platform at the top, which is open every day between 9am-6pm from
April to October, and from 10am-4pm on "sunny weekends" in November and
December. Admission to both is €3.50 (£2.40).

London's Olympic mementoes
There's scant evidence that the city staged the Olympics of 1908 and 1948,
although the decision by exhausted, bankrupt Britain to step in and save the
Games after the Second World War may well have counted in London's favour when
it bid for 2012. Against the odds, the 1948 Olympics (right) were a success,
with the "old" Empire Stadium at Wembley the focal point. The Games were cobbled
together on an austerity budget. There was no Olympic Village: male athletes
were quartered at an army camp in Uxbridge, Middlesex, while the women used
dormitories at Southlands College, Roehampton.
The first London Olympics, 40 years previously, had a stadium specially built
for the purpose. White City, near Shepherd's Bush, took only 10 months to build
and cost a miniscule £60,000, but when it opened it was the largest sports arena
in the world, with a vast tank at one end for the swimming events, a cycling
track, and a running track. After the Games, White City never found a permanent
role, although it kept going until 1978 – and even staged a World Cup qualifying
match (between France and Uruguay) in the 1966 World Cup.
In 1985 it was demolished to make way for the new BBC Radio headquarters, and
the only clue that it once staged the Olympic Games is a list of the gold
medal-winners on the wall of a nearby housing estate. Since 1908 remains the
only Olympiad in which Britain came first in the medals table, a proper memorial
would be fitting.
Britain rewrites the rules
The most enduring legacy of the 1908 Olympics in London is the exact length
of the marathon. At 26 miles 385 yards, it's the only Olympic event with an
imperial measurement (although it is uncertain whether this will help Paula
Radcliffe, above, at this year's Games). In previous Games, the marathon had
been 40km (24.85 miles) and then 26 miles, which was roughly the distance from
Windsor Castle to the White City stadium. The extra, lung-bursting 385 yards
were added when Princess Mary asked the organisers to move the finishing line to
a point beneath the royal box. After passing famous landmarks such as Tower
Bridge, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, the 2012
marathon will also finish directly below the royal box at the new Olympic
Stadium in Stratford. Plus ça change...

Saracens consider move to Olympic Stadium

Saracens yesterday confirmed Eddie Jones will take control of coaching next
season while talks continue with new backers whose injection of cash may lead to
the club to leaving Vicarage Road, possibly for the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Jones,
the 47-year-old former Australia coach, who also helped South Africa to their
recent World Cup final victory over England, will sign a three-year contract and
begins a new role as the club's director of rugby at the end of the season. Alan
Gaffney will continue in a part-time role.

Meanwhile, the club is in talks with the South African businessman Johann
Rupert, who once had plans to form his own club in London based on South African
players. Rupert's company is expected to become a shareholder in Premier Team
Holdings, an umbrella company for the rugby club, with Nigel Wray remaining as
Saracens' chairman.

Mark Sinderberry, the club's chief executive, said yesterday talks were
taking place with several companies and that a move from Watford, where Saracens
play, is a possibility. The club has identified new sites in Hatfield, where
Saracens are based during the week. Sinderberry said: "The Olympic Stadium could
be one option but it won't be ready until 2012 and in the meantime we are happy
at Vicarage Road. But if a partnership goes ahead these are exciting times for
the club."

Saracens have been the Premiership's great underachievers despite Wray's
investment of millions since the game turned professional in 1995. They have won
only one domestic cup, 10 seasons ago. But Gaffney helped Saracens to fourth
place in his first season last year, they are currently third in the Premiership
and are challenging for three trophies with a major home game against Biarritz
in the Heineken Cup next weekend. To add to the air of optimism Andy Farrell is
also expected to sign a new deal next week.

Jones, who had a spell at Saracens two years ago, said: "I have a great base
to work on here after Alan's good work. We have aspirations to challenge the
likes of Leicester and Wasps and we need to build a strong academy to bring
young English guys through.

"There won't be an influx of Australians or South Africans but hopefully we
will cherry-pick some imported players if we can identify that they will become
a big influence. Saracens have developed a style of play over the last couple of
years. If the players swapped shirts I think you would still know they are

Louis is ready to take on the best at Beijing Olympics

CITY gymnast Louis Smith could be about to make British sporting history by grabbing himself a dream ticket to the greatest sporting show on earth.
After a series of superb displays on the pommel horse in 2007 – reaching a peak with a first medal for a British man in over a decade at the World Championships in Stuttgart – 18-year-old Smith has made himself a red-hot favourite for one of only two places on the gymnastics team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

If Smith is selected in April, the news will be a huge four-year leap into the future for the Olympic hopeful who many had thought would not be ready for the ultimate test of his precocious skills until London 2012.

But having proved his status as a world class competitor with a string of gold, silver and bronze medals at international events throughout the past year – the Hunts Gym Club member is eager to prove to the country that he is ready to make history.

"I obviously do not know what is in the selectors' minds for Beijing but I know what is in mine and I know I am ready now," he said

"A lot of people thought I would be targeting London in four years but with the way it has gone for me I feel ready to go to Beijing to try and become the first British man ever to win a gymnastics medal at the Olympics.

"Just lately I have realised that my dreams may be about to come true. No British man has ever even got to a final and I know I have the talent to deliver under pressure. I love to perform in front of big crowds, I always have. I have an excellent chance of being selected, I will just have to wait and see what happens."

But despite his relcutance to second guess the selectors, Smith should be confident of his place on the plane should he wish to take it.

The Eye youngster's performances on all six pieces of apparatus alongside clubmate Dan Keatings in Stuttgart, proved decisive in the decision to hand Britain two Olympic places instead of one and should be enough for Smith to head to the Chinese capital for a shot at a medal in his favoured discipline.

He said: "While I consider myself a six-piece gymnast, I would go to Beijing as a specialist in the pommel. I know I can compete with the best in the world in that discipline and only missed out on a silver at the worlds by a tiny fraction so I feel I have a real chance.

"But even just to be there would be amazing, pulling on the GB vest at the Olympics has always been my ultimate dream and would make all the hard work worthwhile – but a medal and a little piece of history would really be the icing on the cake."

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