Friday, November 30, 2007

ancient greek olympics

Air China launches direct Beijing-Athens flights
Thursday, November 29, 2007; Posted: 07:17 PM

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ATHENS, Nov 30, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- AICAF | charts | news | PowerRating -- The first direct flight between Beijing and Athens by Air China arrived at Athens airport Thursday morning.

Chairman of Air China Ltd. Li Jiaxiang, Greek Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos and Greek Ambassador to China Michael Cambanis, among other passengers, were aboard the plane.

During the flight's departure ceremony, Li said both China and Greece boast ancient civilizations, and the direct flight will greatly promote their traditional friendly ties and enhance tourism between the two countries.

The launch of the direct route is good proof that the Chinese government and Air China attach great importance to developing a strategic partnership with Greece, he said.

Chinese Ambassador to Greece Luo Linquan, who attended the ceremony, extended his congratulations on the occasion, saying the direct flight is a tangible result of the increasing contacts between the two countries in every field, from politics and economy to culture and tourism.

Spiliotopoulos said the direct flight has opened another gate for people from Asia to Europe, which promotes the cooperation of tourism and other businesses between China and Greece.

The weekly services connecting Beijing to Athens depart from Beijing every Sunday and Wednesday and from Athens every Monday and Thursday.

Beijing will host the Olympic Games in 2008, and the Olympic flame will be lit in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics
all Greek to pupils at Branscombe Primary School as they welcomed a story teller to the classroom.

The children took part in a Greek Day, last Thursday, to tie in with term's topic for key stage two pupils.

In the morning, the children had fun dressing up in ancient Greek outfits and in the afternoon storyteller, Steve Manning, paid the school a visit.

Headteacher Katie Gray said: "He showed the children the armour, weapons and shield that a Greek soldier, a hoplite, would have. Then he told a variety of Greek myths and carried out some drama with the children, where he was in the role as an Athenian soldier and the children were from Sparta."

Malachi, one of the pupils at the school, said: "I really enjoyed the day. My favourite part was when we were shown the large shield.

"It was amazing to know how much the shield meant to the hoplites."

Henry, another pupil, said: "I really enjoyed the talk on the Greeks. I learnt lots of Greek words."

The theme continued into the afternoon when the school staged an ancient Greek Olympics.

The children paraded down the new footpath to the village field with Olympic banners and took part in various activities including javelin throwing with sponge spears and chariot racing with bouncing space hoppers.

Mrs Gray said: "It was great fun. The children worked very well in their teams and gave lots of encouragement to each other.

"They really got into the spirit of the Olympics. All the children were presented with a medal and the overall winners were the Reef Knot team.


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