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Policewomen fly on bikes, ready for motorcade
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10:03, August 04, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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The police officers looked as elegant as a wedge of swans in flight as they synchronized to wove around traffic cones on their Honda motorbikes yesterday, preparing to be the official motorcade of the Games.

"Although we all knew a bit about motorbikes, we were far from being able to show off these kinds of special skills," said Duan Tao, 25, speaking from under a brilliant white helmet. She had matching gloves and Matrix-like sunshades to match it.

Duan is one of the 36 traffic police personnel, 25 men and 11 women, chosen for this elite Olympic unit to lead State leaders and IOC officials around key Olympic zones from tomorrow. They are part of the guiding unit of 211 traffic policemen under the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.

"Beijing has promised to have the motorcade for the Games," said Wang Shiyi, an official with the team, at the launching ceremony of the Beijing Traffic Photo Competition yesterday.

"Our responsibility is to make things convenient to ensure athletes, officials and journalists reach their destinations safely and on time."

During their first performance yesterday, they all but scraped the tarmac with the belly of their bikes as they performed breathtaking turns that took months for them to perfect.

Guo Fenghua, a 35-year-old policewoman, said the journey to reach this level of proficiency had been long and hard. "The bikes are huge (so huge that) when I sit on it, I can't really hold the handlebars firmly."

The 11 women (like the men) had to practice riding up and down 4-m-high U-shaped ramps to further hone their skills. "They were so steep that I could not see the bottom," said Zhang Hui, 36, another policewoman who performed yesterday. "When I reached the other side, I was so scared that I cut the engine and fell off."

Everything else was a ride in the park. "After we conquered that, we realized that there was nothing we could not do," she said.

Source: China Daily

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