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Organizers vow economical, efficient National Games

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-30 16:27

SHENYANG, China - With just a few more than 24 hours to kick off China's 12th National Games in northeastern Liaoning province, the organizers told the world that they've been trying to set a new model of the country's most premier sports event by making it "smaller".

"After four years preparation, the 12th national games has get ready to unveil in upbeat spirit," said He Min, deputy director of the organizing committee of the Games, at a press conference here on Friday.

"Under the principle of retrenchment, we spared no efforts in every aspect to keep the games operated economically but efficiently," she added.

Deemed as mini-Olympics by the Chinese, the quadrennial national games had been expanding all along since it inaugurated in 1959.

The participation of the national games had been increased year by year, from the first edition's 29 delegations and 7,707 athletes to the biggest ever games in Shandong with 10,991 athletes from 46 delegations.

Manner of craving great for big dimensions, pompous data and magnificant scenes is expected to be abandoned this time.

Xiao Tian, vice-director of the State General Administration of Sports, told local media that the organizers have managed to reduce the total funding for the Aug 31-Sept 12 games to no more than 800 million yuan, a huge drop of 78 percent than the original one, and to do so, they prepared to launch a frugal opening ceremony, cut scheme of new constructions, canceled unnecessary activities, and narrowed down the numbers of honored guests and inspecting groups.

"During this national games, no receiving dinners, reciprocal receptions or thank-you parties will be hosted; the routine sports science meeting, photographic exhibition and shows for memorial stamps and associated products have all been called off; and a couple of award ceremonies have been canceled," said Xiao.

The Games will feature its opening ceremony during the daytime for the first time in 26 years, resulting in a clean cut of the expense for lighting and fireworks and shut down the total cost for the opening and closing ceremonies to 9 million yuan, about 10 percent of the previous budget.

The number of competition and training venues is reduced from 129 to 117. And among 64 competition venues, 25 of which are newly constructed, only 10 stadiums are exclusively designed for the Games and all of the newly constructed ones are located inside colleges or small towns that had not earned a decent stadium.

"Also, participation of organizing, operating, refereeing, reporting and visiting the games has been thoroughly limited," he added.

According to Xiao, the 12th Games has attracted 9,770 athletes from 38 delegations, including 5,220 male and 4,550 female, to particiapate in, a slightly but compelling fall from the last edition's 10,991 of 46 delegations. Some 3,625 umpires have been called up, including a bigger portion locally based comparing to the Shandong Games four years ago.

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