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Olympic champs to volunteer in Chinese fitness program

After winning 51 gold medals to help China top the gold tally in the Beijing Olympic Games, Chinese Olympic champions showed their concern over the country’s mass sports by committing themselves to volunteering in the national fitness program.

Eighteen former or reigning Olympic gold owners from the Chinese national weightlifting teams announced their plan, four days after the country’s first National Fitness Day (Aug.8).

They called on all Chinese Olympic champs to spend at least seven days every year on voluntary social service, and guide communities to take physical exercises more frequently and scientifically.

A national fitness plan, which urges professional gym instructors to go into communities for volunteer work, was launched on Saturday in Beijing.

Fourteen Olympic champions attending the ceremony signed their names to show their commitment, pledging to do whatever they can to help the mass in their daily health-improving exercises.

The Olympic champs’ dedication to serve in the national fitness program was praised by Liu Peng, head of the Chinese sport governing body.

Liu, director of the Chinese General Administration of Sports and president of the Chinese Olympic Committee(COC), said: “The weightlifting team’s proposal was laudable. The COC encourage all Chinese Olympic champions to spend seven days per year in serving the society. They can work as grassroots coaches in schools, or go to gyms and community body-building sites to serve as instructors. There are lots of means for them to combine their expertise in the volunteer work, and the options are open.”

The year after the Beijing Games witnessed China’s shift from Olympic medals sports to mass sports. And the country began to pay more and more attention to national fitness.

The establishment of Aug. 8 as the National Fitness Day reflects the government’s concern over the life and fortune of the people, and it can also been seen as the best marking of the most eye-catching Olympic Games in Beijing.

“The launch of the National Fitness Day is also a vivid reflection of the legacy that the Beijing Olympics has left for the people and the society,” added Liu. “It is an important step to further improve people’s health and a great power to enhance the Chinese sports.” (China View)