QINGDAO: International athletes, coaches and sports officials continue to praise services at the Qingdao Olympic sailing competition four days after races began.
"Everything is fabulous in Qingdao - the venues, hotels and other facilities," said David Kellett, vice-president of the International Sailing Federation.
Qingdao`s hotels are offering special services for both athletes and fans. The Haiqing Hotel serves competitors local and Western food, Muslim diets and cuisines in other regional styles.
The Shangri-La Hotel has opened its new Caf Yum, a leisure restaurant designed for the Olympics, that presents Western, Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian dishes in addition to China`s local specialties.
Other hotels in the city have employed waiters and waitresses from Japan and South Korea to create a home-like environment for guests from those nations.
About 700 athletes and team officials are staying in the Qingdao Olympic Village, just a two-minute walk from the competition venue.
The village has over 400 rooms, one dining hall for 450 people and a visitor`s restaurant, all open 24 hours a day.
Western food accounts for 70 percent of the total prepared. Olympic residents can choose from 80 breakfast items and 100 for lunch and dinner.
Bruno Prada, a Brazilian sailor in the Star class, celebrated his 37th birthday in the village. "It was a big surprise. Thank you very much for everything," he said with a big smile.
The village provides services ranging from security, transportation, reception, religious services, medical care and cultural exhibitions to accommodation and food, business assistance and competition information.
Exhibitions include the "Dynamic China" folk customs display, the Shandong Culture Show and a Chinese garment photo exhibition.
"I`m enjoying my stay here, where the food is good and the competition venue is very close. It is really a joy and convenient to live in the village," said Kalle Torlen a competitor in the 49er class from Sweden.
The local government has invested enormous funds to renovate roads, enlarge the airport, buy new buses and build more public parking facilities in recent years, greatly improving city transportation.
Qingdao Liuting International Airport has won wide praise from visitors after receiving three upgrades over the past five years.
The Qingdao city government also invested 240 million yuan ($34.9 million) to replace 1,200 buses in the past two years.
The Qingdao Transportation Committee opened special bus routes for the Olympic sailing competition, with 300 buses directly serving the event.