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Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 17:11 UK

Beijing 2008: A Russian perspective

The "Sochi-2014" team leaving for Beijing from Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport
The Sochi 2014 team are looking to learn some lessons from Beijing

Dmitry Chernyshenko, who heads the organizing committee for the Winter Olympics in Russia's Sochi in 2014, is writing for the BBC from Beijing.

I've had the privilege of travelling the world through my work leading an Olympic bid, and now heading the Sochi 2014 Winter Games Organising Committee. But the sheer excitement of going to Beijing 2008 is something I haven't experienced before.

Even at the airport in Moscow the atmosphere was electric. Friends and colleagues of mine as well as Russian athletes were excitedly talking about the Games and taking souvenir photos.

I am so honoured to represent Russia in Beijing; on a personal level, I am also very proud as my eldest daughter, Dasha, starts work as a Beijing 2008 volunteer in a couple of days.

Dmitry Chernyshenko
Taking notes: Dmitry Chernyshenko

Since arriving in Beijing - funnily enough on the day that marked exactly 2014 days until Sochi 2014 - the welcome has been great. Rather surreally, visitors are asked to push a button to rate the friendliness of volunteers as they wait to have their passports checked. I took the opportunity to express how good everyone has been by pushing the "smiliest" button!

The Games seems well organised - the problems we had getting hold of our Beijing 2008 accreditation were sorted out very quickly. In general, despite all the speculation about security - everything seems professional and even friendly.

During Beijing 2008, myself and other members of the Sochi 2014 team will be joining the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Observer Programme. This will give us a rare opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience of making a Games happen - anything from ticketing arrangements to how the flags are hung. Everyone on the Sochi 2014 team is under strict instructions to take notes and absorb as much information as possible.

In less than two days, I also have to present Sochi 2014's first years work to the 120th IOC Session meeting - introducing them to the new members of the Sochi 2014 team and sharing our recently finalised venue locations with them. I'll let you know what the reaction is, and hope to share a fair few other insights gained as the Games go on.




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