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First Olympic Cultural Festival Concludes

     Curtains fell on the first Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival as musicians from China Philharmonic Orchestra played a high tune to the theme of the Olympics at Peking University in the evening of September 29, 2003. Dignitaries such as Deputy Mayor of Beijing Wang Qishan and Vice President Hu Zhanfan of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television attended the closing ceremony.

     In a speech at the ceremony, Wang expressed warm congratulations on the success of the Festival. He said combining sports closely with culture was the best way to promote the Olympic spirit and spread the Olympic ideals. The festival had added glory to the civilization of the capital city, breathed fresh air into people’s cultural life and opened up new fields for cultural and art development and exchanges, Wang said. He expressed the hope that the sponsors of the first Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival would summarize their successful experiences, perfect the combination of sports and culture, expand public participation, deepen the theme and enrich the content of the festival and expand its scope and influence. He said the Beijing 2008 Olympic Cultural Festival should become a new international cultural event that reflects Chinese haracteristics, Beijing style and the Olympic spirit.

     Under the theme of “Dynamic Beijing, People’s Olympics,” the first Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival was opened on September 21. The 2008 Olympic Games Emblem Exhibition revealed the charm of the Olympic culture to the people. The Olympic forums on such themes as Olympic cultural innovation & games image design, Olympic Torch relay, digital film & television, Chinese jade culture & Olympic Spirit, Olympic education and etc. had come up with valuable ideas and suggestions for the preparation of the 2008 Olympic Games. Such popular activities as Taiji performance on the Great Wall, Open-air Culture and Sports Activities and English-Speech Contest among Beijing high school students showed the solid foundation of the development and spread of the Olympic Movement in China. The activities represented the aspiration that the Chinese people, especially the youth cherished for the Olympics. Statistics showed that hundreds of thousand of Beijing citizens took part in the Olympic Cultural Festival, making the festival a truly people’s sports and culture event.

     At the closing ceremony of the Festival, famous conductors Yu Long and Yang Yang, solo pianist Lang Lang and the China Philharmonic Orchestra staged brilliant performances. Symphonies for the 100th anniversary of the Olympics and the 1984 Olympics were performed. The vocalists also sang the theme songs for 1988 Olympics and other Olympics. Lang Lang played a Tchaikovsky piano concerto with the orchestra. Invited by the audiences’ prolonged applause, Lang Lang played five encore melodies and took the enthusiasm of the audience to a new height.

     It is reported that although the first Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival was concluded, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Emblem Exhibition, a major event of the festival, would be extended to October 10. This move was designed to let more people learn about the process of creating the emblem of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.Mr. Cai Fuchao, member of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal Government; Mr. Jin Shengguan, Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress; Vice-President of the BOCOG Mr. Jiang Xiaoyu, Mr. Li Binghua and Mr. Wang Wei; Mr. Min Weifang, Party Secretary of Beijing University also attended the closing ceremony and concert.

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