No Olympic atmosphere in Romford claims Chinese newspaper, two days after thousands watch Torch relay

It may come as a shock to anyone who so much as looked out of their window on Sunday to see thousands lining the streets, but apparently you can hardly notice the build-up to the Olympics in Havering.

The website of Chinese newspaper The China Daily reported on Tuesday that their fellow countrymen can’t really notice that the Olympics are coming to this part of the world.

The article says: “It is not easy to find many traces of the Olympic Games around the corners of the city of London, except some banners and flags which are more as decorations than as demonstrations (sic).”

Describing Romford, where the Chinese media team are based at Harefield Manor, Main Road, as: “dozens of miles northeast of London, a beautiful countryside where Olympic flavor could hardly be tasted (sic),” the piece claims that the preparations here pale in comparison with Beijing in 2008.

It quotes an unnamed journalist from another Chinese news website saying: “We feel no Olympic atmosphere here in Romford. It’s a quite (sic) and beautiful place, but no Olympics.”


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The article also wrongly claims that no newspapers have been covering the build-up to the Games, and that the construction of the Olympic Stadium lacked financial support.

Responding to the article, Cllr Clarence Barrett, leader of the Residents’ Association group on Havering Council, told the Recorder: “It’s not really necessary to festoon every lamppost with Olympic paraphernalia just to demonstrate support for the Games, nor is it fair to compare London with the 2008 Beijing Games when that cost �20 billion compared with �9.3 billion for London.

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“The reception given to the Olympic Torch as it travelled through Havering, and indeed across the UK, has been quite fantastic and a remarkable demonstration of community involvement.”

The China Daily’s website states that it has a circulation of 800,000.

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