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Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 11:57 UK

Beijing 2008: A Russian perspective

Photo: Dmity Chernyshenko

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

As we head towards the end of an incredible Olympic Games here in Beijing, the Sochi 2014 team has begun to reflect on what has been learnt and accomplished.

We have seen new stars born, like Usain Bolt and true icons live up to their billing like Michael Phelps and Yelena Isinbayeva. Behind all this, Sochi 2014 has been taking part in the International Olympic Committee's Observer Programme, which continues with the Paralympic Games next month.

This has given us the best possible insight into what makes successful Olympic Games - from venue construction to security, from the latest broadcasting technology to how to integrate the greatest show on earth with its host city.

The Beijing 2008 Organizing Committee has been quick to lend us their experience and expertise. This has further increased our confidence of giving the world an innovative, inspiring and equally memorable Games when we welcome you to Sochi in 2014.

We know we're going to be very busy over the next five-and-a-half years though!

Everyone will have seen the excitement the Games have generated in China and the superb performance of their athletes to reach the top of the medal table. But it is perhaps away from the sites of their famous victories that we have seen most clearly how China is 'living' the Games.

Photo: Dmity Chernyshenko
A spectacular closing ceremony is planned for the Games
This has perhaps been most noticeable in the attitude of young Chinese people, with more than 500 schools in Beijing and across the country being rewarded with special accreditation through having incorporated the Olympic Games and their values into the curriculum.

Enthusiasm like this will help to secure the Games' sporting and social legacy. This is a key priority for Sochi 2014, which will be the catalyst for unprecedented development and lasting change in the region.

On a more personal note, you may remember that my daughter, Dasha, has been working as one of the 100,000 Beijing 2008 volunteers. She has both enjoyed and benefited from the experience, despite some challenging assignments!

On one occasion, the volunteers in the Olympic Club were asked to hand out special name stamps made of nephritis to members of the International Olympic Committee.

They were given photographs of their allocated IOC member, but Dasha got more and more concerned as it became apparent that no one with the moustache in her picture was among the many Olympic Club guests.

Eventually, she found her target - newly clean-shaven - and presented him with his badge and stamp!

Dasha's once-in-a-lifetime experience as a volunteer will soon be complete, as we near the Games' closing ceremony.

After the spectacular curtain-raiser for Beijing 2008, we're really looking forward to seeing what our Chinese hosts have planned to officially close the Games. I've heard lots of people trying to guess, but the only thing we agree on is that it will be an unforgettable end to a truly memorable Games.




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