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Page last updated at 23:28 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 00:28 UK

Olympic fever: Views outside Beijing

As the Beijing Olympics draw closer, people from cities, towns and villages across China describe the mood in the area.

Xiao Bing bingEliza Li MaggieRegina YangYamoo Wang Richard ZhengHanny GengSophie Cheng

XIAO BING-BING, ENGINEER, DACHAIDAN, QINGHAI PROVINCE

Xiao Bing-bing

I live nearly 3,000 km from Beijing but even in this far-flung place I can feel the excitement of all the people. I live in a desert - but we have many games here such as ping-pong and basketball.

I missed the Olympic torch when it came to Qinghai province. I felt very sad to miss it.

But I found myself in Dunhuang in Gansu province on the way back to Qinghai one day when the torch was in the region.

I got up earlier than usual to watch it travelling around some local grottos and then I got the dismaying news that for the torch's safety and for our safety we should watch it indoors on television instead.

To go to the site we had to apply to the local resident's committee. It was sad news for an outsider like me.

Many people were unhappy with this policy. Many of us stood on the same side as our government to oppose the France and London torch protests. We wanted to greet the torch.

Many athletes are attending these Games and I believe that China will be number one in the medal table this time.

There is a Tibetan girl in our office who is lucky enough to go to Beijing and attend the great Olympic Games.

ELIZA LI, 21, STUDENT, ANYANG, HENAN PROVINCE

Eliza Li
I will be closely following the games. My favourite sports are table tennis and volleyball. I think these are the Games that China is good at.

People here are so excited. The Olympic torch travelling all around China made us all feel included.

Anyang is a small city - normally we don't have too many celebrations.

We always talk about the Olympic Games. Even last time when it was held abroad we watched it, so it is great to think it is happening here.

I think Chinese athletes will do a great job and I hope that we will win more medals. I feel because it is happening in China there is a bigger chance of winning medals. Athletes will be used to the atmosphere and weather here.

Athletes from my province will be participating, and I will cheer for them more than for others because they are from my area. I am so proud.

MAGGIE, TEACHER, SICHUAN PROVINCE

Maggie, a teacher from Sichuan
I am new to Sichuan province. In some big cities, locals object to people from other provinces. Here, the locals just hold a welcoming attitude.

I wouldn't say the Sichuan earthquake is overshadowing people's attitudes to the upcoming Olympics. People here have a laid-back lifestyle.

The earthquake happened some months ago. It has left psychological marks - especially for people who live in the devastated regions.

But people will try to live as they lived before the earthquake. Everyone in China, holds a welcoming attitude to the Olympics.

I wouldn't say the people here have shown a great deal of excitement in public. But we have private discussions on how the government should prepare.

Personally, I am very excited. A few decades ago China was lagging behind the modern world. Nowadays China is developing very fast. I have been astonished at the great changes everywhere.

The Olympic Games is one of the most recent great achievements of the Chinese government.

When you talk with the locals on the streets, no matter whether they are a street sweeper or white collar worker, they will tell you they are excited.

REGINA YANG, TEACHER, LEISHAN, GUIZHOU PROVINCE

Regina Yang
I will be watching the Olympic Games from Leishan. I have to work during the day so I will only get the opportunity to see the action at night.

I know there are a lot of discussions here about how to develop the tourism of Guizhou. I'm hoping that people will take the opportunity to travel to China during the Games and come here.

Leishan is far from Beijing. Chinese people have been looking forward to the Olympic Games for what seems like 100 years, so although we are here, our hearts will go with the Games.

I am a teacher. When my students graduated they gave me three t-shirts: one had a picture of the Olympic torch, one had a picture of an Olympic mascot and one with an Olympic Games sign.

Leishan is a rural place - the old people in the countryside may not be very excited about the Olympics but i think they support it.

There are some athletes from Guizhou - not that many compared to other provinces. But I will support Chinese athletes no matter where they come from.

YAMOO WANG, TIANJIN, HEBEI PROVINCE

Yamoo Wang
Tianjin people are showing their eagerness in many ways. They are doing exercises every day to volunteer at the Olympics. More people are participating in sports.

Tianjin is a big city close to Beijing. We have a new stadium for the football games at the Olympics and there are many new highways.

There is a real atmosphere here now. The Olympics brings many economic benefits to China.

I want to buy tickets to watch the football games in Tianjin. As a Chinese person, I think I should support China in the medals table.

The weather is not that good. There is pollution. It's not as bad as Beijing but it's pretty bad. We don't enjoy the weather here. It can also be very, very wet.

I think athletes should come here to get used to the air pollution otherwise they won't do their best.

The water is also another problem. The water in the river is polluted. People have to make the water clean to be drinkable.

RICHARD ZHENG, QINGDAO, OLYMPIC VOLUNTEER, 22

Richard Zheng
I am an Olympics volunteer in Qingdao - where the sailing regatta is due to be held.

I will be a radio anchor for the sailors, broadcasting news about the latest weather in Qingdao and the sea conditions.

China is the host nation - so there will be a team from China.

Right now, I've got sailing fever. I've learned a lot about sailing and its racing rules. I downloaded information from other sailing competitions. I haven't been sailing myself yet but I want to. I think it will be really exciting and challenging.

People are flooding the city. They have booked the hotels. This is going to be a very crowded city in August. People are excited and happy about that. People think that the Olympics has made the city cleaner and better looking.

HANNY GENG, HANGZHOU, ZHEJIANG PROVINCE

Hanny Geng
I live in Hangzhou most of the time but my hometown is Shanghai.

I am quite excited by the Olympics but I am not a big sports fan. I haven't caught "Olympic fever".

It is just a game. To a person like me, the Games won't change my life much. I am a doctor and I have many things to do such as designing my research, finishing my paper, and caring for my patients.

Here in Hangzhou we don't feel far away from the Olympics in Beijing. Television, radio, and newspapers talk about it every day. Most of all, we can browse the internet to get to know the results. It's quite close to us in that way.

Once the Olympics formally kicks off, there will be a change in atmosphere as the competition will become a daily topic of conversation with people.

The opening ceremony of the Greek Olympics was fantastic. I hope we won't let people down with ours. The world's eyes are upon us.

As a Shanghainese, I know of the athletes from Shanghai competing. There is Yao Ming, the basketball player, and the hurdler Liu Xiang.

As a Shanghainese, I am proud of them

SOPHIE CHENG, STUDENT, 17, ZHUHAI, GUANGDONG PROVINCE

Sophie Cheng
Compared to Guangzhou, Zhuhai is a small city. We will all be watching the Olympics here.

I am excited and proud. I want to be at the Olympic Games in the flesh. I want to be an Olympic torch volunteer but I cannot because I am too young.

I want to see the opening party, the diving and gymnastics. There are so many competitions to watch. Some of my classmates will see the action in Beijing.

Of course in, Zhuhai, people feel part of the Olympics although we are far away. In order to improve the environment the government decided to ban plastic bags around China - Zhuhai has taken part in that ban too. Supermarkets, buses and apartments are full of bright red signs celebrating the Olympics.

At school for English class we read and write articles about the Olympic Games.

I hear that a few athletes from Zhuhai will also compete in the Games in the fields of gymnastics and boating.

I wish them all luck.





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