Royalty and statesmen

The Monegasque ruler, a former Olympian and member of the Olympics Committee, was greeted by assistant foreign minister Wu Hongbo as he touched down in Beijing
Photo: Rex
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Grand slam champ Rafa Nadal has lent his star power to proceedings, too, arriving in China to compete in the tennis
Photo: Rex

Arriving over the weekend Brazilian soccer ace Ronaldinho says the Games are Just as important to us as the World Cup and other big tournaments"
Photo: Getty Images

Albert of Monaco leads famous faces arriving in Beijing for Games

5 AUGUST 2008
With just days to go before the 2008 Olympics kick off in Beijing, royalty, athletes and sports fans alike have been descending on the Chinese capital. Among them is International Olympic committee member Prince Albert, who jetted in by private plane on Monday.

He was greeted by China's assistant foreign minister Wu Hongbo as he touched down at the international airport ready to get his busy Olympics schedule underway. As well as taking in the action in the capital the sporty Monegasque ruler, who's competed five times in the Winter Games' bobsleigh event, will travel to Hong Kong to watch the equestrian events and keep up with the sailing at Qingdao, too.

Also now in Beijing is Spanish Wimbledon tennis champ Rafael Nadal who's aiming for glory in the men's singles event. "I'm going to really enjoy the Olympic atmosphere," he says.

He's not the only one already settling into the Olympic village. Brazilian ace Ronaldinho - one of football's biggest stars - arrived over the weekend. "We all know that if we win this medal we will make history," he says. "It's an unprecedented title It's a very important competition. Just as important to us as the World Cup and other big tournaments."