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4 August 2003, 10:15 am
Traditional Chinese Art Unites With Modern Olympic Spirit
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2008 Olympic Games

The official emblem for the 29th Olympic Games in 2008 was presented to the awaiting world yesterday at a grand ceremony held by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).
The official emblem for the 29th Olympic Games in 2008 was presented to the awaiting world yesterday at a grand ceremony held by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

The new emblem was unveiled by Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, and Hein Verbruggen, Chairman of the Coordination Commission at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. The unveiling was put on in the presence of 2,008 VIPs and to an audience of 400 million TV viewers at a spectacular show that was broadcast live.

The emblem, which legally is also the official emblem for BOCOG, is entitled "Dancing Beijing." It resembles a red Chinese seal enclosing a lively dancing figure. It combines elements of traditional Chinese culture with the true Olympic spirit and values. "Dancing Beijing," which will be a core element of Beijing's Olympic image and look, is expected to become one of the most powerful graphic identities in the history of the Olympic Games.

The unveiling of the new emblem also paves the way for the marketing programme which the BOCOG plans to launch in early September.

Drawn in graceful traditional Chinese calligraphy, "Dancing Beijing" celebrates the spirit of sport, of every Olympian, and of China. Its open arms convey a message of hope -- an invitation to the world to share in Beijing's history, its rich cultural heritage, its dynamism and its future. The emblem symbolizes China opening to the world and reaching out to embrace all humanity. The Beijing 2008 Games emblem will be remembered as the first to use red as a dominant colour. Red is very special to historical and present day China.

Addressing the 2,008 dignitaries and guests, Mr. Liu Qi, the President of BOCOG, said: "The emblem of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is a precious treasure which the people of China are dedicating to the Olympic Movement. The spirit of the emblem combines the unique integration of Oriental spirit and history and modern Olympic philosophy."

In a video message, IOC President Jacques Rogge congratulated the efforts of BOCOG and their continued commitment to the promotion of Olympism and sports in the country. Rogge believed the new emblem should be a symbol of great pride for China.

"Your new emblem immediately conveys the awesome beauty and power of China which are embodied in your heritage and your people," Rogge said, "In this emblem, I saw the promise and potential of a New Beijing and a Great Olympics. This is a milestone in the history of your Olympic quest. As this new emblem becomes known around the world - and as it takes its place at the centre of your Games - we are confident that it will achieve the stature of one of the best and most meaningful symbols in Olympic history."

One of the highlights of the gala event was a special ceremony where Mr. Yuan Weimin, BOCOG Executive President and Minister of China's General Administration of Sport, awarded a traditional Chinese seal of the new emblem to Gilbert Felli, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, as a special gift to the IOC.

The seal presented to the IOC symbolizes Beijing's 'seal of promise' and commitment to hosting the best-ever Olympics. It is one of an identical pair carved out of a whole piece of precious jade from Northwest China's Xinjiang. The other one is to be kept in a planned Olympic Museum that Beijing will build after the 2008 Olympic Games.

BOCOG President Liu also stressed the importance of protecting the new emblem. He added in his speech: "It is important for all of us to protect the Olympic imagery and brand intellectual property. The Chinese Central Government and the Beijing Municipal Government have introduced new regulations to ensure the protection of the Olympic emblem and our sponsors' and partners' rights. As we prepare for the Games, we are calling on all Olympic citizens around the world who care and support the Olympic Movement to respect and abide by international guidelines for the Intellectual Property Right."

The design of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games emblem was chosen out of 1985 entries received from around the world. Nearly 89 per cent of the entries came from China, with the remainder from Asia, Europe, America and Oceania. Eleven local and international judges were invited by BOCOG to oversee the emblem design competition.

Scott Givens, one of the international judges on the panel who previously served as the Managing Director of the Creative Group for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, said: "The process was well-organized and fair. Great effort was expended to make sure the judges' individual views were shared and discussed while keeping the process fair and democratic."

BOCOG also hosted the first ever live global webcast of the Olympic emblem presentation and celebration on its official website www.beijing-olympic.org.cn
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