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Taiwanese expats in UK greet Taiwan Olympians

2012/07/23 15:26:29

London, July 22 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese Olympians arrived in London Sunday to a warm welcome from Taiwanese expatriates in Britain, including Taiwan's representative to the United Kingdom Shen Lyushun.

More than 150 Taiwanese expats residing in the U.K. gathered at London's Heathrow Airport with huge national flags and banners reading "Greetings to the Republic of China's Olympic Delegation."

Many people in the welcoming group were Taiwanese students who traveled to the U.K. capital from cities like Liverpool and Bristol, spending hours on the train to give their compatriots a cordial welcome, which was described by volunteer airport staff as the most passionate they had seen to date.

Among the well-wishers was Transition, a British three-member indie band that spent the past few years touring Asia while based in Taiwan. The musicians, now based in Bristol, performed their Mandarin Chinese song "Qian Jin Olympic Dream (Go for the Olympic Dream)" to greet the group.

Presented to the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee on July 12, the song has been adopted as the official song for the Chinese Taipei Olympic team.

Sunday's group was the second group of Taiwan Olympians to arrive in London. It consisted of 27 athletes in nine core events such as tennis, shot put, and long jump.

Led by Lin Hung-tao, vice president of Taiwan's Olympic committee, the group included Thomas Tsai, the committee's president, as well as medical staff, coaches and other officials.

The first group of Taiwanese Olympians, containing athletes participating in the early stages of the Games, arrived in London July 18. A final group of athletes will set off for London early August.

London's Heathrow Airport expects Olympics-related arrival numbers to be highest July 24, when 1,262 athletes and coaches are scheduled to arrive in readiness for the Games.

The London Games start July 27 and run through Aug. 12.

(By Jennifer Huang and Liu Shih-chun)