Olympics Chinese gold medalists, coaches receive HK$10.6m from Macau

Monday, September 1, 2008
Issue 453, Page 1 & 3
Word count: 627
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Chinese 2008 Olympics gold medalists delegation started their three-day visit in Macau yesterday by meeting with Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah at the Macau Dome after their arrival from Hong Kong in the evening.

Liu Peng, director of the State General Administration of Sport, represented the delegation of 93 to receive a cheque of HK$10.6 million from Edmund Ho as prize money for the coaches and athletes’ outstanding achievements in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Each of the 63 gold medalists will receive a share of HK$150,000 whilst every one of their coaches will get HK$70,000.

The sport delegation arrived at about 7pm at the Macau Dome on Cotai to pose for group photos with representatives of the Macau SAR including the Chief Executive, Chinese Foreign Affairs Commissioner to Macau, Lu Shumin, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Chui Sai On, as well as director of the Sport Development Board, Alex Vong Iao Lek.

Edmund Ho, in his speech given to the delegation yesterday, said the Chinese athletes’ outstanding performance “inspired other Chinese people’s national spirit, won a full recognition of the international community, as well as made remarkable accomplishments for the country and its people.”

“The Beijing Olympic Games reflected that China’s athletes, in terms of their physical strength, skills and mind, have already transcended themselves and further reinforced their positions in the world’s elite ranks,” the SAR Chief Executive said.

“Individuals’ excellent achievements have also become a powerful witness of a country’s prosperity and strength,” he added.

With mainland China’s great concern, Chinese people’s support and also athletes’ persistence, Mr Ho said the Chinese athletes must be able to reach another climax in international competition in the future.

The Chinese medalists’ “spirit of unity and persistency”, Mr Ho added, will stimulate the development of Macau’s sport industry as well as the reinforcement of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy in the region.

On the other hand, leader of the Chinese delegation as well as director of the State General Administration of Sport, Liu Peng, said in his speech that the athletes’ renowned results were attributed to China’s massive economic and social growth over the past three decades, the great support from citizens and different social sectors, as well as Macau’s passion and concern towards the mainland’s sport industry.

“China’s Olympics gold medals consist of the contribution of Macau and its people,” Mr Liu said.

“We believe and are looking forward to having more different kinds of exchange activities including sport between the mainland and Macau in the future,” he added.

Following the cheque presentation and group photos, the delegation proceeded to the other side of the conference hall to enjoy a buffet dinner hosted by the Macau SAR Government.

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Chui Sai On, also gave a speech to the Chinese gold medalists as well as some 100 guests before the dinner started.

“Since the handover of Macau to China, our sports industry has been developing and we have held three integrated sports events,” the Secretary said.

“This was not only due to the efforts of the SAR government, but also the State General Administration of Sport’s long-term assistance and support to continuously act as our back up,” he added.

The gold medalist delegation will continue their second day of visit to Macau today before tomorrow’s departure.

The 93 athletes and coaches will meet with local young athletes and students at 10.40am at Macau Forum, to be followed by visiting the Ruins of St Paul’s before joining the Chinese Liaison Office in Macau for lunch.

The evening party, which is the highlight of the three-day visit, will be held at the Macau Dome at 7.30pm tonight in which 3,000 admission tickets were given away to the public last week.

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