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Olympic Games preparatory work exhibition opens in HK Dec. 12. 2006

An exhibition which gives visitors a better understanding of the Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong and an update on venue construction progress was opened here Saturday.

The exhibition, named Beijing Olympic Games Preparatory Work Exhibition, was staged at the Sha Tin Racecourse in the New Territories of Hong Kong.

Organized by the Hong Kong Jockey Club with the support of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG), the exhibition has aroused much interest as it features models of the key Olympic venues, including the National Stadium and National Aquatic Center in Beijing and the equestrian competition venues in Hong Kong.

Adding Olympic flavor and a relaxing mood to the event were the five Beijing Olympic Games mascots, collectively named "FuWa", who walked around the venue eager to make Hong Kong friends.

Vice-Mayor of Beijing and Executive Vice President of BOCOG Liu Jingmin, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club John Chan, and Hong Kong Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho attended the opening ceremony.

Talking of the venues for the 2008 Olympic Games equestrian events, Chan said he was pleased to report that all work was on schedule and the progress to date very encouraging.

"Despite the challenge of a tight schedule, we are confident of having all the key facilities in place before the trial event in August 2007," he said.

Liu said in his officiating speech that Hong Kong and Beijing are two international cities with different characteristics.

"The staging of the Olympic Games equestrian events in Hong Kong will further enhance the relationship between our two cities, " Liu commented. "With Hong Kong's ample experience in organizing equestrian competitions and a broad base of public participation, I am confident that we can complete this mission with great success," he added.

Also visiting Hong Kong to show support for the exhibition and meet the teenage students was China's first Winter Olympic medallist, Ye Qiaobo, who was joined by three local elite athletes, namely Amy Chan, a bronze medallist at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games badminton exhibition event; Fung Ying-ki, 2000 and 2004 Paralympic Games wheelchair fencing gold medallist; and disabled rider Nelson Yip, who has recently qualified for the 2008 Paralympic Games. They shared their success stories with about 500 secondary school students.

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