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The opening ceremony for the Olympic Games will be held August 8th in Beijing, China. KSMU's Missy Shelton recently spoke by phone with KSMU reporter and Missouri State University graduate student Alvin Chen. He's in China and shared his observations about how the country is preparing for the games.
KSMU's Alvin Chen recently joined me by phone from the streets of Beijing to talk about preparations for the Olympic Games. First, we spoke about his visit to Qingdao, a seaside city in northeastern China, in Shandong province, that will host the Olympic sailing competition.
Alvin, tell us about Qingdao and what the city is doing to prepare to host the sailing competition?
Alvin: It's a beautiful seaside city and even though there's only one competition here, people are working very hard.
Shelton: And what have you observed about preparations in Beijing? There's been a lot of attention on efforts to improve the air quality.
Alvin: The air is better. I noticed right away. They're cleaning the streets and controlling traffic and that helps with air quality. They're reducing pollution from vehicles by controlling traffic.
Shelton: How are the people preparing for the games? Is there a sense of excitement?
Alvin: The local people are so excited. You can see it on their faces. It's very popular to learn English right now. Now, more and more travelers comes to China for travel or the Olympics and now, you can talk to people on the streets and they speak English...just basic things like giving directions, for example.
Shelton: And I understand there are volunteers stationed around the city to help people.
Alvin: There are volunteers helping people cross the street or helping in the subway stations.
Shelton: So, Alvin, I have to ask...Are you going to go to any of the Olympic competitions?
Alvin: I don't know because getting tickets is so hard so I guess I'm going to watch TV.
Shelton: That was KSMU's Alvin Chen, talking by phone from his home country of China about how the country is preparing for the Olympic Games, which begin August 8th.