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News China's Olympic Athletes To Stay In Leeds

City set to host elite sportsmen and women for London 2012

Leeds has shown its wholehearted commitment to the 2012 Olympics by becoming the first British city to sign a deal to host Chinese athletes. Leeds Metropolitan University has announced that members of the Chinese squad will set up camp at its Headingley sports centre.

Strong links between Leeds and Hangzhou – the two have been twin cities for 23 years – are thought to have been a key factor in this groundbreaking deal. The trusted partnership has been responsible for the improvement of trade and educational links, benefiting both cities and working wonders for diplomatic relations, plus there is also a healthy resident and student Chinese population in Leeds.

Up to 50 athletes and officials will be based at Leeds Met, known for its excellence in sport development. Based at the Headingley campus, they will also have access to the John Charles Sports Centre for their track and field team to acclimatise to the British summer weather… Let’s hope they bring a few umbrellas, then! Among the athletes stationed in Leeds is likely to be Liu Xiang, the golden boy of Chinese sport. He has roared back from a devastating 2008 Olympics in his home country, where he had to pull out of a race moments before the start due to injury. Last November, his blistering run in the 100m hurdles at the Asia Games earned him gold and announced to the world that Xiang was back.

In Beijing three years ago, China topped the tables with a phenomenal haul of 100 medals, 51 of which were gold. Hosting these world-class performers has absolutely delighted the Dean of the Carnegie Faculty, Gareth Davies, who said: “Working with these athletes will give our students a great buzz, training alongside Olympic hopefuls.

This is only one example of how London 2012 can benefit our region and we aim to maximise the benefits for the city.”

This development has received a glowing reception worldwide, but Sheffield-raised hero Lord Sebastian Coe was one of the first to offer his congratulations. He said: “I was inspired by the many 2012-related activities I witnessed across West Yorkshire last year and this is further evidence that the whole country is sharing in the benefits from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

A representative for China has lavished Leeds – and its facilities – with praise. Mr Du, Vice President of the Chinese Athletics Association, noted it is a great city and that the training bases will be “ideal” for their preparation for the Games. With members of other national teams set to stay in Leeds, it is hoped that there will be an Olympics-related boost to the local economy and the tourism trade.

Posted on Wednesday 16th February 2011
Tom Head

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Comments on News: China's Olympic Athletes To Stay In Leeds

Comment by Michael Friend

Posted on Mon 15th Aug 11 3:03 am

i am an English teacher From the UK been in china three years beautiful country nice people .
I want to say with all the bad news from the UK,we now have an opportunity to promote Yorkshire in a big way Leeds has been selected as the official training base for China’s athletes ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.
I am from Yorkshire and i am very proud to be a Yorkshire i always promote Yorkshire in china   to my students,hey if there is any local business man out there who would like to offer to sponsor a student from Chongqing university of arts and science Here in china to see the Olympics that would be great, also if there is any sports club or personality who would like to come and give a talk at the university your welcome ,lets promote Yorkshire Together

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