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The Chinese Embassy Holds Reception for the Closing of Olympics and Paralympics
2008/10/24

Evening of 19th September, an early autumn evening. Lights all on. National flags of both China and Britain were flying at the gate of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in the heart of London. The Ball Room was imbued with music and flowers. Two wide screens were showing opening and closing ceremonies and images of the Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics.

Ambassador Fu Ying, Minister Chen Xiaodong and Embassy staff gathered together with over 200 guests from British sports, cultural, political, business and media as well as representatives of overseas Chinese, students and Chinese enterprises in Britain to celebrate the success of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics. Lord Colin Moynihan, Chairman of British Olympic Association (BOA), Simon Clegg, CEO of BOA, Adrian Whiteson, Vice Chairman of British Paralympics Association, David Higgins, CEO of London Olympic Delivery Authority, Paul Deighton, CEO of London Olympic Organizing Committee, Captain Wright, PA to BOA Chairman Her Royal Highness Process Ann attended the reception. Minister Counselor Zhang Lirong presided over the reception.

Fu Ying made a speech first. She said that the Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics were successfully concluded. The two Games made record in terms of numbers of athletes, journalists, spectators and volunteers. There were moving stories both inside and outside the venues. The courage and perseverance of the athletes, hospitality of the Chinese people, selflessness and smiles of the volunteers all impressed the world.

Fu Ying said that the Paralympics fully showed the courage and dignity of the disabled athletes. It was a festival for 83 million disabled people in China and disabled people throughout the world. It was as excellent as the Olympic Games.

Fu Ying recalled her own feelings about the Olympic Games when accompanying PM Brown to the closing ceremony. Everyone was satisfied with the organizing and impressed with Chinese food. The Olympic village consumed over 600 Beijing roast ducks every day.

Fu Ying said she had received many warm letters from the common British people. She read them all, sometimes to late night. They offered their appreciation and sincere thanks to China for successfully holding the two Games. The letters were extremely moving.

Fu Ying said that the Beijing Olympic Games had left China and the Chinese people with rich legacy. The spirit of sports has gone deep into people's hearts. There will surely be a new high for popular sports afterwards. The Olympic Games has further enhanced people's awareness for environmental protection. The streets are cleaner and air fresher. People are discussing measures to further improve the air and environmental quality. The Olympic Games has strongly promoted mutual knowledge and understanding between China and the rest of the world. It has brought the world to China and China more open to the world. The Chinese people feel heterogeneity of the world directly. 30,000 foreign journalists introduced China to the world. She mentioned that British journalists seemed to have quite a number of complaints when she returned Beijing and met with them in June. With the Olympics and Paralympics going on, they became more optimistic and positive.

Fu Ying said that Olympic cooperation between China and Britain would become a new highlight in bilateral relations. Sports authorities in the two countries were discussing cooperation for 2012 London Olympic Games, how to learn from each other in table tennis, badminton, diving and gym at which China was good and gigging, sailing and bicycle at which Britain was good. The two sides were also looking forward to cooperating on what they were not good at so as to improve together. The two sides could also cooperate on construction of stadiums.

Fu Ying congratulated the British delegation for their good results at the Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympics and the excellent performance of the British artists in the two closing ceremonies. She said the 2012 London Olympic Games would be uniquely excellent. She also presented BOA with photos of the British delegation entering the stadium at the opening ceremony.

Lord Colin Moynihan was ill but insisted on attending the reception despite advice from doctor. He came directly from the hospital. He expressed once again his thanks to Ambassador Fu Ying and the Chinese people in his speech. All 317 athletes of the British delegation would like to express their appreciation, respect and sincere thanks to the first–class stadium, excellent organizing and athlete-oriented quality service. The facilities and service of the Paralympics were equally good. The Beijing Olympic Games was a prefect embodiment of Olympic spirits and left the British athletes with fond memory which they would keep for life.

Simon Clegg said that he had personally felt the hospitality and humor of the Chinese people by attending the Beijing Olympic Games. He was impressed by food at the Olympic village and responsibility and professionalism of the Chinese side. The British side sent people to participate organization and reception of the Beijing Olympic Games and learnt useful experience from the Chinese side.

Liam Lambert, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental for Europe, congratulated the success of the Beijing Olympic Games. He said that the hotel felt honored to host the reception and share joy with all the others. The hotel prepared a variety of Chinese food including roast duck and Chinese tea. There was also a Chinese massage in the Ball Room to give guests a taste of oriental healthy living while enjoying the food.

Guests all congratulated China on the success of the two Games. The said the Beijing Olympic Games enhanced their understanding of China and changed many people's outdated impression of China. They were deeply impressed by China's vitality, efficiency and positive spirit.

John Herbert, a British coach for long jump said he had participated 6 Olympic Games and the one in Beijing was the best. He got up early in Beijing so as to see more of the city. He was moved by hospitality and positive side of the Chinese people and hoped to repay China in one way or another. Any Chinese athletes were gifted and promising but became so-so after they grew up. He hoped that he could go to China to teach and improve the quality of long jump in China.

Jade Johnson, who participated in long jump in the Beijing Olympic Games said that athletes were encouraged by many specters coming even for warming up or preliminaries. She began to miss Beijing though she just had just left. She did not have time for sight-seeing because of the busy schedule. She planned to visit China again next year to enjoy Chinese landscape and customs.

Many British people sent their congratulations to the Embassy through email, telephone or letters. So the Embassy had especially invited some ordinary people to the reception. Many of them lived outside London and they came nonetheless. An old couple who lived near Liverpool, 200 miles away from London said with emotion, "I was honored to attend today's reception. It would be a life-long memory. I would tell my friends what I saw and heard tonight and share with them joy brought by the Olympic Games." They also received interviews of the Chinese journalists.

The atmosphere of the reception was lively and warm. Xinhua, Chinanews, CCTV, Phoenix TV and Sing Tao Daily covered the event.

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