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Qingdao Set to Sail


□ Luo Xianyong

  Hearing the name Qingdao men-tioned in casual conversation,for many what first comes tomind is the world-famous beerthat is brewed there, Tsingtao. Others morepersonally acquainted with the seaside citymay recall summer resorts and European-styled architecture tucked in among lushboscages. But soon the city will be betterknown for a momentous sporting occasion-the 2008 Olympic sailing events.
  Qingdao Set to Sail图片1
  "During the 2008 Olympics, in Qing-dao the greatest number of gold medals willbe awarded, compared to other Olympiccompetition venues outside Beijing. It isestimated that the pending Olympic sailingevents will accelerate the city's develop-ment by eight to 10 years," explained WangHaitao, spokesman for the Qingdao Munici-pal Government, during an interview withthis reporter.
  Situated on the shore of the YellowSea, Qingdao boasts ideal sailing condi-tions and a long-lived regatta tradition. In1999, then a candidate city for the 2008sailing events, Qingdao joined forces withBeijing in China's bid for The Games. OnJuly 23, 2001, when Beijing was named ashost city, Qingdao officially became thecity that would host the sailing events ofthe 29th Olympics.
  The Qingdao International Sailing Cen-ter, at the city's eastern edge on the shore ofFushan Bay, features dramatic picturesquelandscapes and four docks especially con-structed for oceanic sporting events. Thebay was formerly occupied by the BeihaiShipyard. After the shipyard relocated, thesite was ideally suited for the developmentof competition and training venues.
  
  Competitive Configuration
  
  Although it was mid-summer, the air wasa little cool when I rose early in the morn-ing. Exiting the doors of the hotel, I saw thatthe entire city was bathed in warm morningsunlight, and flowers and lawns were in fullbloom and lush. It was a rare opportunity toenjoy this beautiful city, since the prior dayI was busy with interviews.
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