Chinese 'Cheer Squads' Fill Empty Seats

Chinese officials said today that they are busing in spectators to fill up venues that have remained partially empty during sporting events.

"If they find that there are not enough people, or if they find that there are too many empty seats, they organise some cheerleaders," said Wang Wei, the executive vice president and secretary general of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games.

Wang, speaking at the daily press conference for journalists covering the games, added that these men and women cheer for both of the teams that are playing to "create a good atmosphere."

Of the 18 Olympic venues, two have been 50 percent full and eight around 70 percent full but Wang said organizers are "satisfied" with the turnout.

Here's a link to the press release from BOCOG.
Here's a link to the BBC article about the press conference where Wang spoke.

--Ariana Eunjung Cha

August 12, 2008; 4:02 AM ET  | Category:  Postmark Beijing
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thank goodness they started doing this. There were an awful lot of empty seats on that first day or two.

Posted by: Glenn | August 12, 2008 9:03 AM

One day the Chinese people will get tired of being pushed around to make their government look good.

Posted by: Sully | August 12, 2008 9:41 AM

It's the O-Limp-Icks now. Disaster after disaster, fraud after fraud, and the IOC turns a deaf ear. China is nothing but an international cheat!

Please fire Rogge! He's allowing underage gymnasts to compete when the media had no problem finding evidence about that. How can he ignore it?

Posted by: trudy | August 13, 2008 12:39 AM

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