Olympics: Mongolia looks for medals shine

SCRIPT:

This may appear an unlikely setting for Mongolia's attempts to stake its place at the heart of the Olympic movement.

But minerals extracted from the Oyu Tolgoi mine, in this remote corner of the Gobi Desert, are being used to create the medals for the London Games.

Mongolia is currently in the grip of a spectacular mining boom, which saw the economy grow by more than 17 percent last year.

Now they can translate this economic prowess into playing a shining role in the greatest show on earth.

SOUNDBITE 1 Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (man), Mongolian President (English, 11 sec):
"I heard that the Olympic medals are going to made from the Oyu Tolgoi depot, from the Mongolian quarry. And that is good news I think."

The medal agreement was made as part of a sponsorship deal with Oyu Tolgoi's operators -- Australian miner Rio Tinto - who are also providing minerals from another mine in the US.

While mining is a major driver for the Mongolian economy it has caused concern over its environmental impact.

But sports officials believe the medals are a source of national pride.

SOUNDBITE 2 Demchigjav Zagdsuren (man), Mongolian National Olympic Committee President (Mongolian 12 sec):
"It is a great honour for the Mongolian people and an example of our involvement with the Olympics and our commitment to the Olympic movement."

Mongolia won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympics - one in judo and one in boxing.

These represent the country's only golds since it first competed in the games in 1964.

But Mongolia has aspirations to build on its recent success.

SOUNDBITE 3 Demchigjav Zagdsuren (man), Mongolian National Olympic Committee President (Mongolian 13 sec):
"We hope to win more medals in the four kinds of Olympic sports that Mongolia excels in; judo, shooting, wrestling and boxing."

And Mongolia is setting its sights even higher for the future, as this memorandum on the wall of their tiny Olympic museum reveals.

But before it can stage its first Olympics by 2040, the priority for Mongolia's athletes is to bring some of the nation's precious metals back home from London.


SHOTLIST:

OYU TOLGOI, MONGOLIA, JUNE 23, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-External shots of Oyu Tolgoi mine
-Open pit mine at Oyu Tolgoi
-The mineral processing plant at Oyu Tolgoi

ULAN BATOR, JUNE 26, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
- SOUNDBITE 1

OYU TOLGOI, MONGOLIA, JUNE 23, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-Various of Oyu Tolgoi mine

ULAN BATOR, JUNE 26, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-External of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee building
-SOUNDBITE 2
-Various of the Mongolian Olympic Museum, located in the Mongolian National Olympic Committee building (includes Tuvshinbayar Naidan, Mongolia's first gold medal winner who took the 100kg Judo title, and Badar-Uugan Enkhbat, who is the Banton weight boxing champion)
-SOUNDBITE 3
-Various of the Mongolian Olympic Museum

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