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Deadline for Olympic opening ceremony ticket transfer brings great profit, joy
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21:50, July 15, 2008

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Ticket transfers for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics have come to an official stop, with some people raking in fat profit and others bringing happiness to others.

The transfer, which started on June 20, finished at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Those who wished to transfer their tickets were required to produce their identity cards and do the transactions at designated branches of the Bank of China. One ticket was transferable only once.

However, neither the Bank of China nor the Olympic organizing committee ticket center could provide the total number of tickets that had been transferred during the period when reached for comment on Tuesday.

Previously, the organizing committee stated "Any resale of Olympic tickets for profit is illegal." It vowed to "support the authorities to crack down on suspected illegal transactions."

Regardless, many tickets were found offered on the Internet at inflated prices. Media reports exposed one extreme case where one 5,000 yuan (731 U.S. dollars) ticket was resold for a staggering 210,000 yuan.

"Such people did go through the right procedures when doing transactions in the bank," said a clerk who declined to be named. "They then charged extra money themselves. We can do nothing about it."

He added the strict policy of the ticket center did help curb the illegal scalping. Tickets were not transferred if problems were found, such as obscure identity card photocopies and unqualified photos or application forms.

While some used the tickets for personal gain, others used the transfers to bring happiness to total strangers.

In Ningbo City in the eastern Zhejiang Province, a man surnamed Wang transferred his ticket to a dying woman for free so she could watch her son perform Wushu at the opening ceremony.

The woman, surnamed Dong, a scrap-collector afflicted with lung cancer, was feared to have only three months to live. Her dream was to see her son, Dingtian, who had been selected to perform on the occasion. Her dream came true when she received a ticket two hours before the Monday deadline.

The deadline of ticket transfer for the Olympics' closing ceremony is July 30 at 5 p.m.. For the Paralympics' opening and closing ceremonies, the deadlines are Aug. 12 and Aug. 23 respectively.


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