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The Olympic village, which will host athletes and officials during
The Olympic village, which will host athletes and officials during the Olympic Games due to start next month, was officially opened in Beijing on Sunday.

The 66-hectare (163-acre) village will accommodate 16,000 athletes during the 29th Summer Olympic Games to be held from August 8 through 24.

"We now welcome athletes from around the world to come to the Games," Chen Zhili, vice-president of the Beijing organizing committee said at the opening ceremony.

"We will try to satisfy the needs of people from different cultural and religious backgrounds," said Chen who is also the so-called head of the Olympic village.

China announced on Friday it would have the largest ever Olympic delegation at the Games.

The 1,099-member delegation includes 639 athletes and ensures that China will be represented in all 28 Olympic events and 38 disciplines, the official site of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games said.


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