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Olympic rules: babies discouraged, Tibet flags out, lip-gloss limited

July 17, 2008

Jane Macartney in Beijing
The Times
July 15, 2008

Umbrellas are in but crossbows, banners and nudity are out, while babies
are frowned upon and lip-gloss will be limited.

Organisers of the Beijing Olympics released their “Spectators' House
Rules” today together with the launch of a “Good Habit for a Good Games”
campaign — the latest step in a bid to ensure that the event proceeds
without anything that could embarrass its Chinese hosts.

Nervous in case visitors try to use the games to make political
statements, the authorities are prohibiting all banners larger than 2m
by 1m and said that these would be checked at the entrance. The same
rules apply to flags, with a ban on those of non-participating members
of the Olympics — believed to be aimed at any attempt by demonstrators
to unfurl the “snow lion” flag of Tibet, which is banned in China.

The island of Taiwan — participating as Chinese Taipei and under a
special Olympic flag — will also be off limits.

Those breaching the rules, which also ban gambling, sit-ins,
demonstrations, drunkenness and streaking, would be dealt with according
to the level of their transgressions.

Huang Keying, deputy director of the spectator services division at the
Beijing Organising Committee, said: “Different cases will be handled by
different departments following relevant rules or laws. We have
specially trained staff who will communicate with spectators.”

Lip-gloss, fountain pens and sunscreen will be allowed but only in small
quantities. Animals, other than guide dogs, are prohibited. Parents will
be encouraged not to bring babies. And the “f-word”, commonly heard on
the streets of Beijing, will be most definitely forbidden.

Umbrellas, at least those with short handles, will be allowed in a break
from the rules that excluded them from the previous Olympics in Athens.

Ms Huang said: “In foreign countries people like to sunbathe, but in
Beijing we prefer to avoid the sunlight. So we will allow people to
bring collapsible umbrellas as long as they don’t put them up in the
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