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27 Jul 2008
IOC News , Beijing 2008

Opening of the Olympic Village: where the dream is still possible!

The Olympic Village will be the finest symbolic place of the Beijing Games - a place where dreams will still be possible, where victories will be celebrated between friends and where lost illusions will be lamented. The Olympic Villages of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad opened their doors today in Beijing and Qingdao. At the same time, the Anti-Doping Rules applicable until the Closing Ceremony on 24 August 2008 have entered into force.  
A bed for 2.26m-tall Yao Ming
The Olympic Village will not only be a place for dreams, it will also be quite simply a dream place. There the athletes will find exceptional living conditions, peace and tranquillity far from the commotion of the Games. The beds will be two metres long. For giants such as Chinese basketballer Yao Ming, who is 2.26m tall, units have been specially designed that will be added to the beds to offer them every comfort necessary. The athletes will live in an authentic environment. The Village is split into four zones, each of which has been allocated a traditional Chinese totem: the vermillion bird, the pi xiu (a mythical Chinese creature), the fish and the dragon.  
Setting a good example environmentally
The Olympic Village is also setting an example from an environmental point of view. No less than 6,000m2 of solar panels will produce hot water for the 16,800 residents; and, using recycled water from a cooling system, it will be possible to save up to 40 per cent electricity. The use of non-polluting materials was essential throughout the construction. The Village is also fully accessible for the Paralympic athletes.
Tickle your taste buds!
The place to be – apart form the training halls and games rooms – will undoubtedly be the huge restaurant. There will be something to cater to all tastes and desires. Watch out, however, for your waistline... more than one athlete has been seduced by the Olympic Village food in the past and left a few kilos heavier. The advice from an expert: enjoy it after the competition!
The presidential room
As usual, the IOC President will sleep in the Olympic Village, in an ordinary room, identical to those of the other athletes. This rewarding practice, born in Salt Lake City, was repeated in Athens and Turin. “I appreciate having contact with the athletes enormously. Sharing a meal with them, playing a round of pool and strolling among these stars will be among the highlights of my presidency,” he underlined after the Turin Games.
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