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Chinese people cheerful and proud for success of Beijing Olympic Games
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08:51, August 25, 2008

The sacred flame of the Beijing Olympic Games was extinguished on Sunday night, leaving behind numerous touching moments, sports legends, and unprecedented passion for the Olympic Movement among 1.3 billion people.

While the spectators who just walked out of the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, were understandably too excited to go home and lingered around the iconic steel-latticed architecture for souvenir photos, people out of the Chinese capital, even in the quake zone of Sichuan and on the Tibetan plateau, were also thrown into wild ecstasy by the Games' perfect ending.

"The Chinese people have made great efforts and overcome many difficulties for the hosting of the Olympic Games. The success of the Beijing Games has enhanced the national cohesion. As Chinese, we all feel very very proud," said Cering, a policeman in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Olympic fervor has taken a grip on the highland city thousands of miles away from Beijing, as a large screen erected on the square in front of the Potala Palace is broadcasting the Games live every day.

The Tibetan officer said that over the past 16 days, he had watched Olympic competitions as many as possible, and had been happy to see Chinese athletes not only continue to dominate in their traditionally strong sports, such as table tennis, weight lifting, diving and gymnastics, but also make breakthroughs in previously weaker areas such as archery, trampoline and hockey.

China grabbed a total of 100 medals at the Beijing Games -- a happy coincidence as the country has dreamed for 100 years to be the Olympic host -- and overtook the United States to top the gold medal table with 51 golds.

China's central authorities on Sunday congratulated the Chinese athletes on their "achievement of a major historic breakthrough" and "significant contributions" to the Beijing Olympic Games.

"The motherland and people feel proud of you. We extend warm congratulations and heartfelt compliments to you, who have won immense glory for your country and people," read a congratulatory message jointly sent by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, China's cabinet.

Sun Qingfeng, a retired sports teacher from central China's Henan Province, watched the Olympic men's marathon competition on Sunday morning. "This is probably the only chance in my life to watch the Olympic Games on the spot. My happiness is beyond language as I can witnessing China host the Olympic Games and also top the gold medal tally," said the 81-year-old, who had come to Beijing just for the Games.

"I think the Chinese people's century-old dream has really come true," he added.

But there were still regrets. "None of the 51 gold medals we won were churned out in track and field. So sports workers in our country must work harder to improve our athletics strength," said the retiree.

For 9-year-old Xu Xinzhu, a student in Beijing Jingshan Primary School, the Beijing Olympic Games were a starting point of her dream.

"I watched a handball match this morning. It was wonderful to feel the Olympic Games so close," said the girl. "I hope one day I could represent China at the Olympic Games, in equestrian maybe, because I like riding and often tried it in the suburbs."

The success of the Beijing Olympics has also cheered up survivors of the devastating May 12 earthquake in Sichuan, although many of them still live in temporary plank houses as the government found it would take at least two years to provide safe, permanent housing for every of the 10 million displaced people.

"I saw a kid from the quake zone walk beside Yao Ming (famous basketball player) to lead the Chinese athletes at the Games opening, which demonstrated that people were paying great attention to us. We shall rise from sorrow and rebuild our homeland," said Zhang Qiongying, a resident in Yingxiu Town of Sichuan, who now runs a tent shop for living and has been watching the Olympic Games on TV every day in her small plank house.

Zhang liked watching women's volleyball matches the most. Although the Chinese women's volleyball team only took a bronze at these Games, Zhang believed that volleyball matches are just like life -- sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

"The most important thing is, you must take a positive attitude toward adversities," she concluded.

Mao Yunzhen, a resident of Bingli Village in Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the magnitude-8 tremor, said that the successful hosting of the Olympic Games showed China is becoming increasingly prosperous.

"If we can successfully host the Olympic Games today, we certainly can overcome any difficulty caused by the earthquake in the future," said Mao.

When the revelry in the Bird's Nest reached its climax on Sunday night, Chen Xiaohan, a sophomore student with the Communication University of China, stayed on duty at the eastern entrance of the Beijing Olympics Main Press Center (MPC).

One of the tens of thousands of volunteers serving the Games, Chen had been assigned to check the accreditation of everyone entering the MPC building.

"I have received strict training, including foreign languages, first aid and basic security knowledge. I have been working here about eight hours a day since July 8," she said.

Although it is just a 15-minute walk from the MPC to the Bird's Nest, Chen has only been in the stadium once. As the gatekeeper, she also missed the live broadcast of a touching scene at the closing ceremony: three new members of the Athletes' Commission of the International Olympic Committee presented flower bouquets to 12 representatives of the nearly 1.5 million Beijing Games volunteers.

"Sometimes I also felt sorry for missing lots of wonderful matches. But now that the Games have ended in great success, I think all my hard work and sacrifice have paid off."

Source:Xinhua

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1 China 51 21 28 100
2 USA 36 38 36 110
3 Russia 23 21 28 72
4 Great Britain 19 13 15 47
5 Germany 16 10 15 41
6 Australia 14 15 17 46
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