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Olympic village opened to participants

world Updated: Jul 21, 2008 18:36 IST

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The Beijing Olympics athletes' village has been opened in Beijing as the advance contingents of 12 national Olympic committees were expected to check in.

"The advance men from 12 national Olympic committees are scheduled to check in at the village soon," Yin Lei, an organising committee staff at the village's arrival and departure centre, told Xinhua on Sunday.

"We call it a soft opening," he said.

During the August 8-24 Games, the village will be home to about 16,000 athletes and officials. The 42-building complex in the north of the capital city also includes a hospital, a bank, shops, places of worship, restaurants, a swimming pool, and gyms.

Officially it will open to delegations July 27, two weeks before the start of the Olympics.

After the Paralympics in September, the village will be used for public housing.