Date/Time: 11:15 a.m., Thursday, August 14
Venue: Main Press Conference ()
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome to BOCOG and IOC joint press conference. This morning as usual, we are joined by Mr. Wang Wei, executive vice president and secretary general of BOCOG, Ms. Giselle Davies, IOC Director of Communication. With us today is also, Ms. Ruan Lanyu, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture. First of all I would like to give the floor to Mr. Wang.
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Just to give a daily briefing on the Games operation. Yesterday we have a total of 27 competition events staged in 30 venues including 20 in Beijing and 10 in 6 co-host cities. Those cycling events came to a successful conclusion.
The competition venues received 3,231 athletes, 2,252 team officials from 131 participating teams as well as 2,359 technical officials, and 495,609 spectators, 6,512 VIPs and 7,857 journalists. In additional, the venues received 403 training teams consisting of 2,051 athletes and 507 team officials.
Update for August 14, the 6th day of the Olympic Games will see 23 competition events in 24 venues; a total of 17 gold medals will be awarded. The swimming event for today will certainly attract much attention. Weather forecast for today: light rain is expected in Beijing this morning; light winds are broadcasted for Qingdao during the competitions; Hong Kong will be clear and hot; Shanghai will remain hot and humid; Tianjin and Shanghai will experience thunderstorm in the late afternoon.
Beside that, I will brief you on the traffic accident yesterday.
On August 13, some athletes and coach left the Olympic Village for Shunyi Olympic canoeing venues around 2 in the afternoon carrying 2 Croatian athletes and one Croatian coach and 6 staff members from Poland, Canada and Australia and volunteer. On the crossroad, there were 4 passengers who tried to overtake and collided into the right side of the coach. The accident caused slight scrapes of the 2 Croatian athletes and the other passengers on the coach. Of the 4 passengers in the van, 2 were injured and 2 died later after being treated in the hospital. After the accident, the emergency plan was launched immediately. The patients were immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment. According to the investigation, the van was at fault at valid traffic rules. The accident did not affect the athletes' schedule. They went back to training and competition immediately afterwards. BOCOG also made announcement about the accident on INFO2008 last evening.
Before I finished, I would like to congratulate Michael Phelps for breaking the record for individual gold medals. Of course, we celebrate the participation of all the athletes. But this complement is truly special, congratulate to him. Thank you.
Dear friends from the media, according to the arrangements today I want to brief you on the live sites activities staged in Beijing. The live sites are parts of Olympic culture building in Beijing for citizens in Beijing, and friends and journalists and tourists from China and abroad, for the athletes and officials and other visitors. The live sites provide the best opportunity for them to take direct participation in the festive activities and the ambience of the Olympic Games.
Since the 13th of July, the opening of all the live sites, at every live sites, a colorful and rich variety of activities has been staged including performance troupes from other provinces and other countries. Dance troupes and choirs and non professional amateur performers at the community level, they are consisted of a large format screens and cultural showcases, the exchange of emblems and souvenirs. There are 7 elements in the live site activities. According to the statistics by today since the 13th of July, we have entertained 1.4626 million visitors and since the 8th of August, the large formats screen has seen over 416,000 spectators and visitors.
On the eve on August 8, all the live sites entertained over 131,000 visitors. On the evening of August 8, according to the polling of the statistics from all the live sites, all the spectators' centers were viewing the Opening Ceremony with great excitement and jubilation. Let me talk about an example about the Temple of Earth live site. I was present at the Temple of Earth. During that night, as many as 21,000 visitors including people from Belgium, Demark and UK, the US, Italy and etc watching the large format. Those visitors include some cyclists who have been cycling for several days from Daqing in China; also the audiences include the students and other visitors from Beijing and elsewhere and holding the Chinese National Flag and the Olympic Flag painting Five Rings on their face. And foreigners were also moved by the jubilation and many of them were just cheering out loudly. They cheered 'Go China, Go Olympics' in Chinese.
So it was full of celebration and cheering on the live site. I was very moved by the scene myself. At the central plaza, and other live site in Fangshan, in Tongzhou, in the Longtanhu, in Lianhuachi Park in Fengtai District, and Yong'an Park in Changping district, tens of thousands of people get together in front of the large screens to share the festivities of the Olympic Games. In general, in the day of the Opening Ceremony, on all the live sites, there was an exciting and happy ambience in an orderly way after the Opening Ceremony was over, the people were still soaked in the festivities and jubilation and they had a lot of photos taken. And they didn't want to leave.
When the live sites were closed, all the visitors cleared off the littering around them and other wastes are packed into pre-prepared plastic bags. So they have shown their support for the Beijing Olympics. At the live sites, more wonderful programs will be arranged. More celebration will be staged as well. And take the example of another live site; at the eastern pubic side of Beijing, according to the on-going event on the day, we are going to have a night of badminton, night of gymnastic, table tennis, and various other events as well. So at the margins of the competitions, people still enjoy the ambience of the Games. And at the Closing Ceremony to be held for the Games, some of the lively sites will be staging celebratory performances. Let me also share with you that starting from tomorrow, from 15th to 24th of August, at the Tian'anmen Square, there will be a mass celebrations at the Square, so as to stress full participation for the people, including the folk dance group, and fitness dancing and other performance related to non- intangible cultural heritage.
Let me also share with you, there are going to be dance competitions as well. In our manual guide for cultural activities, programs and schedules are provided. If you want to visit those live sites, the evenings will be the best for you to visit. That is what I want to say. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Director Ruan, now the floor is open for questions. Again for convenience of the broadcasters, I would appreciate it if you stand up when you raise the questions.
I would like to ask Giselle about the Spanish basketball teams advertisement in which they pose with pulled out slanty eyes. I wonder whether you thought this was appropriate, in line with the Olympic ideals whether there will be any sanctions against the teams, whether it is damaging for 2016 Games. Thank you.
Thank you and good morning. Clearly it wasn't appropriate, we understand the team has apologized and so as far as we are concerned the matter rests.
I have not seen the picture. It is hard to make specific comments. Thank you.
Voice of Strait Broadcasting
Could you talk about the Chinese Taipei athlete, Zhang Taishan, have a doping test, and there was a problem with the doping test. And the baseball team confirmed the results of the doping test.
Thank you for your question. It was done by the sports federation so it was done before the Olympic Games here. We have had a number of cases, you may recall, a lot of testing ahead of the Games. So this is one of those tests. So the federation can give you more information. It is not a test by the IOC in the Games-time period.
New York Sun
I had a question about some of the cheering went on at the badminton match. Yesterday, when the Americans were playing the Chinese, there were probably about 3,500 Chinese there and 10 Americans. Whenever the Americans cheer, there were booed by the Chinese crowds. I am wondering if you consider that part of the reasonable patriotism, a reasonable behavior on the Chinese crowd, or is it not an appropriate behavior?
Again, I was not present at the stadium. I think the crowds of spectators should cheer for both sides, not something that we are encouraging. Thank you.
American Fox News Radio
Thank you. On Monday, August 11, the grassroots legal activist from Fujian Province was applying to hold the protest on one of the designated protest zones. He wanted to denounce rampant official corruption and abuses of power. A man from Suzhou was attempting to apply for permission to protest about a property dispute in her hometown but was escorted back by Suzhou government officials. The police at the Beijing Haidian district police station refused to accept an application by Mr. Zhang to protest over the demolition of her home for Olympics related development.
I think you are in China and suppose to cover the Games. Of course you have found a lot of things happening, but I don't know what you are saying is true or not. As you know that BOCOG, our responsibility is to organize the Games and if you have questions like that, the protestors and things like that, you should go to the authorities of public security. Thank you for your question.
Channel 4 News
My question is really short. It is for Giselle, given that China got these Games, it made promises about human rights and press freedom. Given that the Chinese government has lied to its teeth in keeping the promises. Is the IOC in any way embarrassed about the Chinese government not keeping promises on both press freedom and human rights?
Good morning. There was certainly some hope and inspiration late in 2001 as to how the Games could have a positive impact on the wide social framework. We have to notice that there have been an enormous effort done in a number of the areas. You are here reporting on the Games, the world is watching and there will be commentaries made appraising how the Games have had an impact wider through bringing sports athletes and world's attention. Interestingly, I saw the AP did the survey, whereby their readers say that 55% of the respondents in the U.S. believe the choice was the right choice to come to Beijing in China.
Channel 4 News
Yes. I'm not asking about that but asking the IOC if they are in any way embarrassed about the manifest failure on behalf of the Chinese government to keep their promises. It's a very straightforward question. Is the IOC embarrassed?
We are proud of the fact that these Games are progressing with the spectacular sports, sports venues and operationally running very smoothly. And that's what we are focusing here.
Channel 4 News
I'm asking if you are embarrassed. I'm not asking about how well the Games will be run or how wonderful the venues are. Are you embarrassed? I don't think that anyone in this room, if I may speak, maybe stepping out of the line, but I don't think anybody thinks you've answered this question. Is the IOC embarrassed about the Chinese government not keeping with the promises?
We are very pleased with how the organizers are putting on good sports events. That is what it is, the Ioc is to bring sports and Olympic values to this country. That is what is happening and the organizers have put on operationally sound Games for the athletes. This is an event first and foremost for the athletes, and the athletes are giving us extremely positive feedback about how they see these Games is being held for them.
Channel 4 News
Giselle, let's try that one more time, is the IOC embarrassed that Chinese government not keeping promises on both press freedom and human rights. One more chance.
I think probably your colleagues in the room would like to have a chance of question as well.
Next question please.
I would like to add something to Giselle's answer. I was the secretary general of the bidding committee. I was confronted a lot about the opening up and reform of China. I did say that the Olympic Games coming to China will help China to open up further and to reform better. The fact is after 30 years of reform, China has developed greatly. People enjoy more freedom. People enjoy a lot to say and People's economic situation improved a lot. Everybody can see that. Olympic Games is a great platform. Everybody who first came to China will say to me China is so different from what they read, what they saw in films, in papers. People are so friendly, people are living a good life. Everybody is happy. People are optimistic about their own future. That is the fact. Of course, there are exceptions like in any countries. Some people are not satisfied, that is true. But we need to take the legal process procedures to resolve their own issues, their problems. We can not allow the country in the chaos.
We welcome people to China to celebrate the Olympic Games with us, to enjoy the festivity with us. Of course we also welcome suggestions, constructive advices from all the people, all the kind people. I think a very few people come here to pick, to be critical, to dig into the small details, to find the fault with that. That doesn't mean we are not fulfilling our promise. I think the whole country can see how China is progressing, how China is genuinely welcome the world to China to enjoy everything with us. That is the comment I want to say. I did not say we will do whatever with the Games coming to china. I didn't say that. But I say the Games will open up the horizon about China. People would see better for themselves what China is like. That is my statement and observation. Thank you.
Beijing Youth Daily
I would like to confirm with Mr. Wang on the traffic accident and the unfortunate victim. They are not athletes, were they? I wasn't quite clear about that. What information you have on the doping of the last few days ?
People died in the accident were not athletes. They were people in the small van that really violated the rule of the traffic.
The statistics we carried out was the one I gave the day before yesterday. I haven't got update today. I will get them later this morning.
South China Morning Post
Mr. Wang. Thank you very much for your statement. I have been here for the Olympics for three years. And that was quite a passionate and quite open and very well-received by me any way statement there. But in this new spirit, can I ask today, can I have some figures as was quite passionately asked by one of my colleagues here some numbers of the people who have applied to the protest parks. I think in the spirit you have shown there, if you can just be a little bit more transparent, you probably wouldn't receive such ferocious roasting.
Thank you for your question. Again, as BOCOG, we are striving to provide good service for the media to come here to cover the Games. But you have to be clear about our positions, responsibilities and obligations. With regards to the parks that were proved to be for demonstrations, they are with the responsibility of the public security not for BOCOG. So our director of BOCOG did check, but we haven't received the information. Once it is there, we will let you know.