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Delta cites new China COVID******
Delta Air Lines on Monday cited new Chinese cleaning requirements after it rerouted a China-bound flight back to the United States, drawing criticism from Chinese authorities.。
The December 21 flight was supposed to land in Shanghai after disembarking from Seattle, but instead returned to the US city midair. Delta said the reason for the reversal was new Chinese requirements issued earlier that day in the wake of the latest COVID-19 surge.。
"The new cleaning procedures require significantly extended ground time and are not operationally viable for Delta," a Delta spokesman said. "We apologize for any inconvenience this is causing for customers as we continue to work on rebooking on alternate flights."
The Chinese consulate in San Francisco complained that several Chinese citizens were stranded on board with expired visas and COVID-19 tests that no longer met time requirements, according to Chinese state media.。
Airlines, including Delta and other leading US carriers, have canceled thousands of flights in recent days as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 hits airline workers and roils travel plans for many consumers.。
Australian Olympic Committee marks countdown to Beijing 2022******
SYDNEY, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- As the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Wednesday celebrates 100 days until the start of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Australian athletes are strapping on their boots and fastening their goggles, ready to hit the slopes in the Chinese capital.
"We're just 100 days from the opening ceremony, and our athletes are doing everything they can to represent Australia in Beijing," said Australia's Chef de Mission Geoff Lipshut.
Australia is set to send a team of more than 40 athletes to compete in events such as alpine skiing, figure skating and bobsledding.
One of the starkest challenges for the Australian athletes is preparing for winter sports during the country's scorching summer months.
For some, this means off-snow training in Australia, while others have chased winter and are preparing for the Games in the northern hemisphere.
The AOC has chosen the motto "Chasing Winter", "highlighting Aussie athletes' year-round pursuit of winter excellence".
2018 Olympic snowboard cross silver medalist Jarryd Hughes said his training would be in overdrive now the countdown has truly begun.
"It feels great to have the Olympics so close and 100 days is a great mark to add some extra energy to my preparation," he said.
Bree Walker is set to make her Olympic debut in the new sport of women's monobob, or individual bobsledding.
"To represent Australia at the Olympics has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember," Walker said. "I have worked so incredibly hard, especially over the last four years, that would all be worth it to represent Australia at the Games."
Walker has already begun testing the facilities at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre in Beijing during this week's test event, which she praised as "world class".
"If the facilities are anything to go off, I think these are going to be a spectacular Olympics."
"It's going to be anyone's game here in February."
The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be held from February 4 to 20, with events also being held in towns in the neighbouring Hebei Province. Enditem
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