The United States and China plan to undertake an ambitious series of sports exchanges aimed at helping both countries in advance of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
The program will include major sporting events that the two nations will host in alternating years, as well as exchanges in coaching and sports science. There will also be marketing and sports management seminars that the Americans would hold in China to help maximize China's opportunities for the games and sports in general.
U.S. Olympic Committee President Sandra Baldwin completed discussions on the arrangements this week while attending the ongoing World University Games in Beijing. She called them very successful and was also impressed with the organization at the student games, which are viewed as a rehearsal for the 2008 Olympics.
USOC Spokesman Mike Moran told VOA Sports how the sports exchanges are expected to work. "The format would be three or four sports each year," he explained. "It would be alternating countries and would be sports in some cases where we're very strong and the Chinese are developing, or where the Chinese are very strong and we are developing. Several sports would be showcased over the five or six-year period leading up to the [2008 Olympic] games."
Moran added that the sports exchanges will likely begin next year, some time after the end of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.