OMEGA welcomed three Asian brand ambassadors to its Pavilion on the Olympic Green in Beijing on the 9th of August, 2008 – the day after the spectacular Opening Ceremony took place at the National “Bird’s Nest” Stadium a short distance away.
OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart was joined on stage by supermodel QiQi and her husband, the action film icon Simon Yam. With the Hong Kong-based stars was Taiwanese singer/songwriter/actor Richie Jen. Urquhart explained the role of the Swiss watchmaker’s brand ambassadors, pointing out that they are much more than celebrity spokespeople – they become part of the OMEGA family.
When the event’s charming bi-lingual moderator, Lynn Ding, asked Urquhart if Simon Yam and Richie Jen were as attractive as George Clooney, also an OMEGA ambassador, the OMEGA President smiled and said, “You’ll have to ask the ladies,” adding that for his company, some things are more important than appearance. “And these people all have great hearts,” he said.
The ambassadors expressed great enthusiasm for the Olympic experience. QiQi said, “I have always dreamed of attending an Olympic Opening Ceremony and it was incredibly special to go to this one. When the Olympic Rings were raised, it was one of the most touching, emotional moments I can remember.”
Simon Yam was moved by an image of an older woman standing proudly in front of a banner displaying the words “One World, One Dream”, the Olympic slogan. The woman was smiling and flashing a peace sign. “It reminded me,” said Yam, that we are fulfilling our parents’ dreams. The Olympics are not only for young people. I’m so happy that all generations are sharing the dream.” His comment was met with warm applause.
Richie Jen said that he was thrilled to be visiting Beijing during the Olympic Games. Echoing Stephen Urquhart’s comments, he said that attending the event at the Pavilion with his fellow ambassadors and friends from OMEGA felt like attending a family reunion.
Each of the ambassadors displayed and commented on photographs they had taken since arriving in Beijing which will be part of a larger OMEGA exhibition at a later date.
After their presentation from the stage, Stephen Urquhart led his three brand ambassadors on a tour of the Pavilion, pointing out some of the key exhibits and giving them a chance to test their skills at the virtual controls of the Solar Impulse airplane and the opportunity to show off their abilities in the rowing exhibition just outside the Pavilion. The stars were mobbed by fans but handled the situation with grace and humour, pausing frequently to provide spontaneous photo opportunities.
OMEGA will continue its Pavilion programme on the 10th with an event dedicated to Solar Impulse, a project which aims to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane powered only by the sun. It will feature OMEGA’s countrymen, co-founders and co-pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg.
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