sharing the Olympic spirit
OLYMPICS/ Spotlight

Athletes' cozy home embodies Green Olympics
By Guan Xiaomeng Staff Writer
Updated: 2008-06-13 14:04


Two beds with additional mattresses for tall athletes are arranged in a bedroom in the Olympic Village in this photo taken on March 5, 2008. Each unit has three bedrooms which accommodate six athletes. [

Towering NBA center Yao Ming won't have to worry about where to put his long legs when he goes to bed after tense competition, and energy critics will have little to complain about at the Olympic Village, thanks to Beijing's extensive efforts to offer a comfortable and environmentally friendly home for the athletes.

Embodies Chinese culture

The color scheme of the village emulates the traditional Beijing houses in alleys, or Hutong - grey-brick apartment buildings with white balconies and red paper-cuttings of the Chinese characters "Fu" ("good luck" and "happiness") and "Guo'Aocun" or "Olympic Village" on the building wall.

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In each apartment unit, clay statues of women from the Tang Dynasty stand on the table near the door to welcome guests. Hanging on the wall of the living rooms and the bedrooms are photos of old Beijing, Chinese calligraphy and traditional handcrafts, like Chinese knots.

A traditional Chinese-courtyard-like site in the Village's international zone serves as the commercial complex, where folk handcrafts will be sold. Traditional performances like Taiji and Wushu will be staged in the zone to present Chinese culture to the world's athletes.

For all the athletes

Vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Chen Zhili, who was appointed head of the village early in April, said a top-notch Olympic village, which facilitates communication among the world's sports friends and carries forward the Olympic spirit, is a significant part of a highly successful Games.

And the Beijing Olympic Village is a comfortable place for the athletes after a stressful day at the competition venues.

The spacious and bright units look cozy and warm with white walls, light beige furniture and wood and tiled floors.

Three or four bedrooms surround a living room with and average living space of up to 22.5 square meters per person, compared with 19.5 square meters for an average Beijinger. Even towering athletes like Yao Ming won't have to worry about their height, as organizers had arranged beds with extra mattresses tacked on the end for them.

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