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26 Apr 2006
IOC News

The Xiamen marathon runners

On Tuesday 25 April, in the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge, Zhenliang He, Chairman of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, and IOC member Ching-Kuo Wu, Changping Zhang, the Mayor of the Chinese city of Xiamen, accompanied by a large delegation, donated two bronze statues to the IOC. The sculptures represent a man and a woman running. The man is looking at his watch.
The world’s largest statuary group
This pair of marathon runners was chosen from among the group of 99 statues sculpted by Chinese artists entitled “Never stopping”. It is the largest group of sports statues in the world, and symbolises the Xiamen’s people’s commitment to the Olympic motto “faster, higher, stronger”, and their quest for sport which is “cleaner, more human and more united”. The bronze marathon runners do not exist only on the course, but also in the heart of the city’s inhabitants, to perpetuate the dream…
The Xiamen marathon
For the city of Xiamen, sport is its source of life and health. Its international marathon, run on one of the finest courses in the world, is held every spring. Although only four years old, it has already become known world-wide, and has become an important date in the international marathon calendar.
Xiamen, gateway to China
In Chinese, “Xiamen” means “gateway to China”. The city is located on the coast across from the island of Taiwan. It was one of the first Special Economic Zones in China to be opened to the outside world. After two decades of rapid economic growth,  Xiamen is today known internationally. At the end of his presentation speech, Mayor Changping Zhang expressed the hope that he could one day welcome President Rogge to his beautiful city.

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