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Globetrotters impressed in Beijing
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08:44, August 20, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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Indian couple Omprakash and Prem Mundra make it a point to attend most major international sporting events.

Their Beijing trip took three years in the planning and has proved to be well worth it, they said.

Omprakash, a 58-year-old steel industrialist from the central Indian city of Nagpur, and his wife, have attended two Soccer World Cups, five Cricket World Cups, three Olympic Games; Sydney, Athens and Turin, and the Doha Asian Games.

The couple started planning for the Beijing Olympics right after they returned home from Athens. They booked their hotel online, made hundreds of phone calls, and sent countless e-mails to the Beijing Olympic Games Organizing Committee.

"I doubt there are many people like us who make such plans and trips," Omprakash said. "And since the day we arrived in China, everything has been unbelievably smooth and comfortable."

Although getting a ticket to an event could mean holding a "ticket wanted" sign in the streets, the couple has managed to attend as many events as possible.

With the help of the Indian Olympic Committee and their bargaining skills, the Mundras have watched 20 events and spent more than 7,800 yuan ($1,100) on tickets.

Sometimes, they have three events to attend in a day, which means skipping meals and sleep.

"When I stand in the crowds, I don't feel hungry," Omprakash said.

Besides the Games, the couple said the best part of their stay in China is the hospitality of the people. They have encountered nothing but kindness.

People have directed them to their hotel at 1.30 in the morning, shared seats with them on trains, offered homes to stay for the night on missing their trains, and offered free Games' tickets.

"The people and the young volunteers have been lovely and fantastic. And they have always be ready to extend all help to us," Omprakash said.

Source: China Daily

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