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"Beijing Olympic Games will hold most intense competition"
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16:34, August 06, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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At 7:00, on the evening of August 5, the U.S. Olympic delegation's flag-raising ceremony was held at the Olympic Village international flag Plaza. Olympic Village mayor Chen Zhili and the United States Olympic delegation head, Charles Li, attended the ceremony and exchanged gifts. More than 100 people including athletes, coaches and delegation officials attended the ceremony.

A reporter requested Charles Li to predict U.S. athletes' performance in the Beijing Olympics and he said: "I know you want me to predict how many gold medals the United States will get. I don't dare predict that and I do not know." In his view, the Beijing Olympic Games the will become the most competitive Olympic Games so far, so predicting the future of the U.S. team is very difficult.

Later, Li used fluent Chinese to express "I do not know" to a number of questions.

Li thinks that the preparation by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee is "very good, very excellent, and extraordinary." He also hopes that the U.S. athletes will have time to learn Chinese at the International area in the Olympic village because he feels that the Chinese language is "very interesting."

The U.S. women's hockey team player, Lauren Pronger, said in an interview with reporters: "I'm very happy to participate in the event. The Olympic village in Beijing is very clean, very beautiful." This is the first time for the U.S. women's hockey team to compete in the Olympics since 1996. When a reporter asked her if she is confident they will win a medal, she smiled and replied: "Of course, we are here for the medal."

The United States has sent a total of 596 athletes to the Beijing Olympic Games: 310 male and 286 female athletes. The U.S. delegation's brightest star is swimmer Phelps. His goal is to become the first person in Olympic history to win eight gold medals. However, because Phelps and his teammates are busy training, the United States swimming team did not appear at today's flag-raising.

By People's Daily Online

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