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|Friday, October 20, 2000, updated at 22:32(GMT+8)|
2000 Beijing International Water Skiing Tournament OpenThe 2000 Beijing International Water Skiing Tournament opened Friday at Beijing International Skiing Center.
The tournament, aimed to promote the sport in China, is the highest-level water skiing competition that China has ever hosted. It will also boost Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.
"Water skiing is very popular in western countries, yet less known in China. It is a noble sport, suitble for both the old and the young. We hope more Chinese people will join in this sport," said He Zhenliang, Chinese International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive member who attended the opening ceremony.
Twelve world-class skiers from United States, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Greece and Switzerland will compete in the men's and women's jumping events on Saturday and Sunday. All the skiers' world rankings are within top 15.
"Banana " George, an 85-year-old American barefoot skier who is famous for his outstanding skiing skills and great love of the sport, performed trick skiing after the opening ceremony along with the Chinese national skiing team.
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