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Mainland athletes visit HK is a tradition


08-27-2016 13:02 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

A trip to Hong Kong by the Mainland athletes has become a tradition the last couple of decades. The journey offers local residents on the island a chance to see the team members from the Chinese squad. 

The ritual started in 1996, Fu Mingxia and Deng Yaping led the Chinese delegation's visit to Hong Kong. They received a warm welcome from local residents. The athletes would interact with fans, in an effort to pass along the Olympic spirit. Over the years, it has become one of the highlights for the Chinese delegation.

Apart from routine sports demonstrations, Chinese Olympic champions would stage variety shows with local pop stars, and the tickets to most activities would sell out. In 2012, badminton star Lin Dan, table tennis player Zhang Jike played an exhibition, each trying to excel in the others sport. Locals expect a similar exhibition in 2016.

"I look forward to seeing them. They all performed very well at the Olympics and fought for the pride of the country. It was very good," said a local resident.

"I like Chen Long most. Many people like badminton. I was abroad for many years, but I love my country so much. I was moved when I heard the national anthem. I like everything about the Olympics. I was moved and happy while hearing the national anthem," said another local resident.

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