Changing China

Giant on the move

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Souvenir problem licked for Beijing athletes

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Athletes at this year’s Olympics are being offered the ultimate souvenir — personalised Beijing 2008 postage stamps with their own faces on them.

The stamps are guaranteed to bring a smile to relatives’ faces back home, although you’ll need six of them for a foreign-bound postcard. Post office employees in the athletes’ village say coaches and officials are snapping them up as fast as a 100m sprinter.

“They are very popular. Some are buying 10 or 11 sheets,” said post office worker Li Qiang, who for 45 yuan ($6.6) for a sheet of 12 will take your photo and superimpose it on the rectangular Olympic stamps on show on the wall.

Li says well over a hundred sets of stamps have been printed so far, featuring Germans, Czech athletes and half the Chinese baseball team for a start.

Swifter, higher, stronger than me

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Posing in front of the ringsWhere else in the world could you spot a Bhutanese archer, a chunky weightlifter from a tiny South Pacific island and a freckled Ukrainian table-tennis champ within one enclosed space?

Journalism takes you to some strange locations, but the athletes’ village at the Olympic Games has to be one of the most bizarre places on earth.

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