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Mexican coach hails opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics
09:17, August 09, 2008

Mexican swimming coach Nelson Vargas said Friday that the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing was a huge show of technology ever seen.

Vargas, also director of the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports in Mexico from 2000 to 2006, said he followed the television broadcast since early in the morning and was very impressed.

"I was fascinated," Vargas, also assistant of U.S. trainer Ronald Johnson in the Olympic Games of Mexico in 1968 when two medals were won in swimming for this country.

"I have attended 10 Olympic Games inaugurations and had never seen an opening with such a display of technology. It was impressive. I really congratulate the Chinese people who have always been highly regarded by Mexico," Vargas said.

Vargas said that for him, the opening ceremony in Mexico was in the first place, followed by Seoul, Barcelona and Sydney. "Now I have to recognize that Beijing displaced Mexico."

"The synchrony of the drum players, the steps from the Tiananmen plaza, the formation of the Olympic rings, the opera of Beijing, the children's songs, the fireworks, the lighting up of the burner by Li Ning, everything was perfect," Vargas said, adding that the ceremony will be remembered for a long time.

"Nobody can say it was monotonous or too long or too tiring, even in the cultural aspect," Vargas said.

Vargas said he visited four times Beijing during his management and signed the agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Sports to bring trainers to Mexico, "we have Chinese trainers since 2003 and there are currently 70 in Mexico."

"An example is Ma Jin, diving trainer who is very good and can lead Mexicans to win two medals," Vargas said.

Vargas, who had forecasted that the China could not be in the swimming first places, now thinks he is wrong and added that the United States swimming team can take 40 percent of the gold medals, and only of its competitors (Michel Phelps) threatens to win eight.

"The difference between the U.S. and China could be established there," Vargas said.


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