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  Live sites to boost atmosphere of Olympic Games  
  ^ The Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau (second left), and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow (second right), chairing a press conference to announce details of the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong. Looking on are the Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Mr Vincent Liu (left), and Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Miss Olivia Chan.
  ^ Representatives from the 18 District Councils and the Hong Kong Elite Athletes Association attending a brief ceremony to launch the Cheering Campaign.
  ^ The Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau (fifth left), the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow (sixth left), Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Mr Vincent Liu (third right) and two of the Hong Kong athletes to take part in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: Ms Chan yu-ning (swimming) (fourth left) and Ms Yeung Chui-ling (fencing) (fourth right) , officiating at the ceremony to launch the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong. Also present was Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Leisure Services), Miss Olivia Chan (first right).

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will organise Olympic Live Sites in Victoria Park and Sha Tin Park from August 8-24 to enhance the Hong Kong atmosphere of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and provide a variety of free cultural, sports and leisure programmes to the public.

This was announced by the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau, at a press conference on the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong held today (July 8) at the Arcade of Kowloon Park.

Mrs Yau said, "We are greatly honoured that our country is hosting the Olympic Games. It is indeed a double honour for us to be an Olympic City, co-hosting the Olympic Equestrian Events. The Hong Kong SAR Government has been actively promoting community participation in various Olympics-related activities. Following the Olympic Torch Relay on May 2 which still remains vivid in our minds, our next major project is to set up Olympic Live Sites at Victoria Park and Sha Tin Park in accordance with the requirements of the International Olympic Committee and the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The live sites will provide the whole community, including visitors to Hong Kong and those who do not have time to go to Beijing for the Games, with opportunities to share the joy and experience the spirit of the Olympic Games."

"During his visit to Hong Kong earlier this week, Vice-President Xi Jinping said that it was the Chinese nation's solemn pledge to the international community that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games would be high quality and distinctive. Being one of the co-host cities of the Games, Hong Kong is committed to contributing our best towards the successful staging of the Games by our motherland," Mrs Yau said.

Mrs Yau said that apart from the various preparation work of the Equestrian events itself, the creation of a joyful and peaceful Olympic atmosphere for the whole community was also an important assignment for the Government. The Olympic Live Sites will on one hand broadcast live all the exciting competition events through giant TV screens while at the same time entertainment programmes with different cultural characteristics would be staged to fully reflect the charisma of Hong Kong as an international city as well as Hong Kong people's good cultural spirit.

The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, introduced details of the Hong Kong Olympic Live Sites.

Mr Chow said the Olympic Live Sites, to be set up at the Central Lawn of Victoria Park and the Main Plaza of Sha Tin Park, would include seven activity zones with the following programmes:

1) Giant TV wall and main stage performance area íV Live broadcast of Olympic activities and competition events and stage performances with different cultural characteristics such as Filipino music performance, Japanese traditional sports demonstration, Korean and Indian cultural dances and Pop Cultural Creations "Aloha" íV a Hawaiian contemporary music legend for families;

2) Entertainment and activity area íV Includes 3D motion games, Olympic books corner, games booths and inflatable trampoline;

3) Exhibition area íV A wish-making corner for sending good wishes to the Games, Fuwa photo-taking corner, highlights of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay in Hong Kong, exhibition on Equestrian Events and information about the Games;

4) Fitness corner íV Various play-in activities, such as aerobic, dancing, shuttlecock, indoor rowing and rope skipping;

5) Exhibition and sale of licensed products of the Olympic Games;

6) Information corner íV Updated information about the Olympic Games and the list of gold medal winners; and

7) Food and drinks area.

Except for licensed products for sale and food and drinks, the activities will be free of charge.

Due to limited capacity of the Olympic Live Sites, only those district organisations and people invited by the organiser will be admitted to the Live Sites during designated time slots when the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the launching of the live sites are held on August 8 and the closing ceremony on August 24. During the rest of time when the Olympic Live Sites are open, free admission tickets will be available at the respective sites starting one hour before each session until tickets last (see Appendix 1 and the LCSD's webpage for the opening hours).

To show Hong Kong people's support for the Beijing Olympic Games and the Hong Kong athletes, the LCSD will launch a Cheering Campaign with the slogan "Go! Go! China! Go! Go! Hong Kong!", providing different channels for the public to give support and encouragement to athletes taking part in the Beijing Olympics.

Before the summer vacation, the LCSD distributed cheering cards to primary and secondary schools, inviting students to express best wishes to the Hong Kong athletes.

The public can take part in the Cheering Campaign via the following channels:

1) On-line support: Vote for the sports of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the athletes you support on the website;

2) On-site support: Go to the wish-making corner of the Olympic Live Sites to fill in the cheering cards.

At the press conference Mrs Yau also said that the Equestrian Events would take place at two world class venues. She hoped that people would buy the admission tickets as soon as possible so that they could go there to feel the Olympic atmosphere themselves. The Games-Time tickets have been on sale since June 12. The tickets are being sold out quickly and some of the popular sessions, including the final sessions, were sold out on the first day of sale. Cross Country of the Eventing discipline will take place at the Beas River Country Club and the adjacent golf club. Cross Country is not quite the same as the other conventional sports as the spectators can move around in the Beas River venue. They can enjoy watching the competition as well as spending their time with their family in the green environment. Mrs Yau also hoped people would not miss out on this special way of observing a competition and getting a new experience.

Mrs Yau said the successful launching of the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong owed much to the support and assistance from all participating groups, schools, government departments and District Councils. She was confident that with the support of various sectors of the community, the Beijing Olympic Games could be brought closer to the community.

For enquiries, please call 3972 1857.

Also attending the press conference were some of Hong Kong's elite athletes and representatives of the 18 District Councils and National Sports Associations.

Some of the guests took part in a ceremony to mark the launching of the Cheering Campaign. It also means the preparatory work of the Olympic Live Sites has entered a final phase.

Apart from the Beijing Olympic Games in August, the LCSD will organise a Live Site in Sha Tin Park during the Paralympic Games from September 6-17. Details of the Live Site will be announced later.

Ends/Tuesday, July 8, 2008