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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 00:43 GMT
China develops Olympic cheering
By Daniel Griffiths
BBC News, Beijing

Members of the "Beijing Civilised Workers Cheering Squad" practise their cheering (28 November 2007)
The Chinese authorities have approved about 20 cheers for fans
China is organising classes in cheering aimed at preparing Chinese sports fans for the Olympic Games next year.

For the Chinese government, the Beijing Olympics are a big part of the country's emergence onto the international stage.

It wants the games to be perfect - right down to the applause.

So volunteers are being trained on the finer points of cheering, including when to clap and the importance of avoiding unsporting behaviour.

Beijing is worried about a repeat of events during the Asian Cup in 2004, when the Chinese football team's loss to Japan led to ugly scenes among some Chinese fans.

The cheering classes are part of a broader campaign by the Chinese government to encourage what it calls "civilised behaviour" during the Olympics, including no queue jumping or spreading litter.

Such initiatives are all part of the government's attempts to make sure everything goes according to plan in 2008.

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