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  Speech by Mrs Carrie Yau, JP, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs at the Press Conference on the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong  

Representatives of the 18 District Councils, distinguished guests and friends from the media,

Good afternoon. Let me welcome you all to the press conference on the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong.

Today is just a month away from the opening of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. We take great pride in our mother country hosting the Olympic Games for the first time. We are all looking forward to the important day. 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 2 May, 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 , Vice President Xi Jinping said that it was the Chinese nationˇ¦s solemn pledge to the international community that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games would be a high quality and distinctive one. 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. Apart from the various preparation work of the Equestrian events itself, the creation of a joyful and peaceful Olympic atmosphere for the whole community is also an important assignment for us. The Olympic Live Sites will on one hand broadcast live all the exciting competition events through giant TV screens for sharing by members of the public. At the same time, entertainment programmes with different cultural characteristics such as Filipino music performance, Japanese traditional sports demonstration, Korean and Indian cultural dances and Pop Cultural Creations ˇ§Alohaˇ¨ ˇV a Hawaiian contemporary music legend for families will be staged. The diversified contents and programmes of the Live Sites will bring home the multi-cultural spirit enjoyed by all in Hong Kong --- worldˇ¦s international city.

The Equestrian Events will take place at two world class venues. The admission tickets so far are being sold out fast. But there are still some tickets around and I suggest we must get them early at the China Travel Service agency. There is a very special Cross Country event which 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 strolling along the green knolls and pastures. I hope members of the public would not miss the good opportunity of enjoying this equestrian event.

Coming back to todayˇ¦s theme, the successful launching of the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong owes much to the support and assistance from all participating groups, schools, government departments and District Councils. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the parties concerned. My special thanks go to the representatives of the 18 District Councils and our elite athletes who are present at this press conference today. With your support and through the diverse programmes of the Olympic Live Sites in Hong Kong, I am confident that together we will succeed in bringing the Beijing Olympic Games closer to the community. Through our media friends who have been giving us unfailing support in promoting the Olympic spirit, I appeal to all in Hong Kong to visit the Live Sites at their leisure in August and September and celebrate with us the joy of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Thank you!