BOCOG issues Olympic venue rules, banners not allowed

July 15th, 2008 - 1:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 15 (Xinhua) Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) has issued a list of rules for the spectators at Olympic venues. The rules, promulgated Monday, 25 days ahead of the Games advised spectators not to bring into the venues support banners and leaflets of commercial publicity, religion, politics, military, human rights and environmental and animal protection, among others.

Huang Keying, a BOCOG spectator division official, said the rules, including 22 restrictions and four prohibitions, are completely in line with the Olympic Charter. “Each spectator is subject to the rules aimed at maintaining security and order of the venue.”

Banners reading “Go China,” will not be allowed in the Olympic venues. While such posters have been frequently seen during the Olympic torch global relay, the tendentious banners violate the fairness principle of an Olympic event, according to Olympic venue rules.

Li Yong, a BOCOG volunteer department staff, told Xinhua that people with banners would be stopped at the entrance security check. Spectators should cheer for both Chinese and foreign athletes, Li said.

The rules also ban flags larger than two meters by one metre, flags of non-participating members, photo-shooting with a flash, drunkenness, nudity and gambling, sit-ins, demonstrations, as well as soft drink containers, musical instruments, including whistles, long umbrellas, cigarette lighters, cameras and radios at venues.

Lip gloss, fountain pens and sunscreen in small quantity are allowed. Animals, except guide dogs, would also not be allowed in the venues.

The organizers have asked spectators to dress normally and not deliberately display commercial logos on clothes or be part of a group of people wearing identical patterned clothes.

Zhang Zhenliang, director of the Games’ inquiry centre, said spectator rules were always one of the most difficult parts of the Games preparation, as they must ensure an orderly, happy and harmonious environment.

The rules book have been delivered to spectators along with tickets.

Zhang said the inquiry centre operated daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in several languages. “Many overseas spectators inquired about whether they could bring babies into the opening or closing ceremony venue.” It is not advised.

Zhang said the restrictions and prohibitions were roughly the same as those of the Athens and Sydney Games.

Huang said the Beijing Olympic venue rules, however, are different than those of previous Games because of different national situation and local habits. He gave the example of Athens, which had banned carrying a large quantity of coins in the venues. Beijing, however, does not have such a restriction.

“Beijing locals like to use parasols to block the sunshine. But we have to remind people not to open umbrellas in the seating areas so as not to block the view of others,” she said, adding that collapsible umbrellas are allowed in the venues. “We have specially trained staff to communicate with spectators and point out their misconduct, ” Zhang said.

BOCOG also launched Monday a “Good Habit for a Good Games” campaign by distributing “Smiling Wristbands” in five Olympic colours to the public to promote “civilized watching, smile commitment.”

Meanwhile, an large-scale etiquette campaign was launched outside the Olympic venues. More than 4.3 million local families were given “etiquette manuals” and 870,000 taxi drivers, government workers, restaurant waiters and bus conductors attended such courses.

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