Fri, Dec 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Elections 2006: Hsieh eyes Olympics as catalyst for Taipei

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh shows his athletic side yesterday after repeating his call for Taipei to apply for the 2020 Olympic Games.

PHOTO: CNA

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) plans to make Taipei a better city by hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, which he pledged to realize if he is elected mayor of the capital.

"Hosting the Olympics will attract foreign and domestic investment. With more money, it will be easier for us to re-construct the entire city," said Juan Chao-hsiung (阮昭雄), a close aide and spokesman for Hsieh's camp.

Hsieh, the two-term former Kaohsiung mayor and premier, hopes to carry out a similar project to his Kaohsiung "Love River Experience" (愛河經驗) for Taipei's Tamsui River.

"Cleaning up a river that runs through a city automatically revives the city in many ways. More tourists will come, more job opportunities will be created and residents will enjoy a better quality of life," he said.

The application to host the 2020 Olympic Games in Taipei has been one of Hsieh's policies during his premiership. He has always been confident about this proposal because he won the chance to host the 2009 World Games as mayor of Kaohsiung.

"Hosting an international event like the Olympics will bring Taipei's residents together. It will help us get our passion back," Hsieh said on his blog.

Juan said that attracting more domestic and foreign investment were also important reasons to fight for the chance to host the Olympics. In the meantime, Hsieh is also plans to develop the Guandu area by constructing sports facilities.

"The difficult part is to maintain the area's natural environment and complete development at the same time. Hsieh is planning to make it a done deal within a year of beginning his term as mayor," Juan said.

Hsieh's dreams will not end with the conclusion of the games.

"Athletes accomodation can be used as shelters for those who need help, like the homeless. The main sports facilities can be leased to local universities or communities," Juan said. "This is just an outline for the entire plan. There will definitely be a lot more, if he [Hsieh] has a chance to make them real."

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