The BOCHAMDQ Family from Argentina
(BEIJING, August 6) -- On the eve of the one-year countdown to the 2008 Olympic Games, the ten winning families of the "Olympic Families Tour Beijing" campaign, five from China and five from abroad, have gathered here Monday to begin a fascinating Olympic tour in China's capital, as well as in Hong Kong and Qingdao.
The 10 Olympic Families who were finally selected are: from the United States, the "gotobeijing" Family and the "usa1776" Family; from Germany, the "Greenlink" family; from South Africa, the "go Hong Kong" family; from Argentina, the "BOCHAMDQ" Family; from China's Jiangsu province, the "Wenxin Zuhe" Family; from China's Henan province, the "Aoyun zhi ai" Family; from Beijing, the "homenice" Family, the "Tianshi zhi jia" Family, and the "Yi jia wukou kan aoyun" Family.
"Beijing, here we come!" exclaimed the "BOCHAMDQ" family, the first foreign family to arrive. The fresh and exciting sights seemed to have awakened the elders of the Argentine family from an exhausting flight when they got off the plane on August 6. On the way to the hotel, the family tirelessly used their camera and DV to record the beauty of the Olympic city.
BOCOG Executive Vice-President Jiang Xiaoyu extended his sincere wishes to the families. "The 'Olympic Families Tour Beijing' campaign has given many people a chance to join in the Olympic Games," Jiang said. "Glad to see these families come together, on the eve of the one-year countdown to the Olympic Games, to witness with the rest of us the arrival of the solemn moment, to listen to the footsteps of the impending Olympic Games, and to share the rich, festive atmosphere of the Olympics." He expressed the hope that the special tour will leave all the families with unforgettable memories"
In the three-plus months since the start of the campaign on April 9, the campaign has aroused a lot of hope and emotions. In a special message to the lucky families, International Olympic Committee President Mr. Jacques Rogge said, "I wish [you] the best of luck; this is going to be an exciting adventure and if [you] have the privilege to go to Beijing then [your Olympic] dream will come true."
Aware of his compatriots' involvement, Mr. P¨¢l Schmitt, a member of the IOC and President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, sent in his greeting, "It is a great pleasure and honor for the Hungarian Olympic Movement that three Hungarian families are going to take part in the final of the quiz organized by BOCOG ... With this effort they proved to be worthy representatives of the Hungarian Olympic Movement on one of the exemplary initiatives of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad."
More than 12,000 families from 62 countries and regions registered to participate in the contest when the selection phase of the families ended on July 1.
For many participants, the campaign is more than just an exciting tour. Rather, it is an opportunity to discover the diverse cultures of the world. To name but a few, the "Greenlink" family of Germany and the "Harmony makes Prosperity" family of Iran became close friends through a badminton contest organized during the process, while the "go Hong Kong" family won votes from their contenders with their persistent Olympic passion and longing for the Beijing Games.
Aside from the overseas families, users of the official website and China Mobile also powered the campaign with great passion. The accumulated hits to the campaign's web pages exceeded 10 million. In the first phase, website users cast nearly 4 million votes for all participating families. Blogs set up on Sohu.com by the 50 campaign finalist families from China saw 2.3 million visits in over one month. Over 10,430,000 votes were cast for the 100 shortlisted Chinese and foreign families by users of the website and China Mobile.
An initiative of the BOCOG Media and Communications Department, the campaign was undertaken by the official website of the BEIJING 2008 Olympic Games and China Mobile, with support from Coca-Cola (China) Co., Ltd., and Sohu.com Inc.
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