China's basketball star Yao Ming (姚明 Yáo Míng) was part of an all-Chinese delegation of athletes at the opening of the Olympic village (奥林匹克村 Àolínpǐkè cūn).
The ceremony (仪式 yíshì) took place on a muggy morning, with the village's blocks of flats shrouded in a pollution (污染 wūrǎn) haze.
Some of the thousands of volunteers (志愿者 zhìyuànzhě) who will be working during the Games, took an oath (誓言 shìyán) at the ceremony.
The village lies adjacent to the National Stadium (国家体育场 guójiā tǐyùchǎng) and National Aquatics Centre (国家游泳中心 guójiā yóuyǒng zhōngxīn) on Beijing's Olympic Green.
Some 16,000 athletes (运动员 yùndòngyuán) and referees (裁判员 cáipànyuán) will stay in the village during the Games, which run from 8-24 August.
Chen Zhili, the so-called mayor (市长 shìzhǎng) of the village, said the facilities were ready to welcome athletes from all over the world (世界 shìjiè).
Chen received a symbolic gold key (钥匙 yàoshi) to the village from organising committee president Liu Qi.
After the games finish, the Olympic flats will be refitted (整修 zhěngxiū) and sold.
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