Beijing lifted the curtain on the Olympic village here on Wednesday, offering journalists a glimpse inside the home away from home for about 10,500 athletes during the August 8-24 Games.
The village's biggest claim to fame is its eco-friendly "green" credentials and its superb location -- situated just across the road from the Olympic Green, home to major sports venues, including the main stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place.
AdvertisementLiu Rong, a representative of the developers, Guo Ao, said the village in Beijing's northern suburbs was designed to make the most of solar power and other renewable energy techniques as well as water conservation.
"The harmony between culture, architecture and the environment has been achieved through the green residential area," she said.
"The Olympic village, with its world-leading technology, has showcased to the world the distinguishing characteristics of a high-level Olympic Games."
Finishing touches are under way and the village will officially open on July 27, just ahead of the August 8 opening ceremony.
More than 9,000 bedrooms, with two single beds in each, will offer ample accommodation for more than 16,000 athletes and officials to stay at any one time, said Yu Debing, deputy head of the organising committee's Olympic village department.
"The goal is to provide a comfortable and harmonious living environment for the athletes and officials," said Yu, adding that "there will be no superstar treatment in the village."
Some stars will get special beds, however, since the beds on display on Wednesday measured just two metres and looked a little short for the likes of Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, who measures 2.26 metres.
"Don't you worry about the beds," Li said. "We will get special ones made up for the big guys."
The 42 housing blocks are divided into three-room apartments measuring 170 square metres (1,830 square feet) and four-room apartments measuring 240 square metres, all with two bathrooms but without kitchens.
"I think it looks nice and the athletes will be comfortable," said Li Zhanjun, a spokesman for the organising committee who accompanied about 200 journalists, mostly from overseas, to the village.
As well as 24-hour restaurants, the village boasts a clinic, library, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts. Each apartment is also equipped with high-speed Internet access.