Jackie Chan wasn't offended by Olympics role

HONG KONG (AP) - September 3, 2008

The action movie star said Wednesday he was not upset about his small role in the Beijing Olympics' opening and closing ceremonies because he was happy to play any part in promoting the games.

The world's best-known ethnic Chinese movie idol sang along with other singers at the end of both ceremonies, while the spotlight instead fell on retired Chinese gymnast Li Ning who soared - suspended by wires - around the upper, inner rim of the Bird's Nest Stadium to light the Olympic cauldron.

"I don't question my role. When the Beijing Organizing Committee beckons, I'm there," the 54-year-old actor known for his daredevil stunts said Wednesday, noting that he passed on two commercials and a movie to help promote the games.

Chan spoke after being named an honorary professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design at a ceremony in Hong Kong.

In his blog, Chan said he and his fellow performers waited for 10 hours before appearing in the closing ceremony.

"No one asked, 'why are we stuck in this situation?' We just felt very honored and very happy that we participated in the Beijing Olympics," he said Wednesday.

However, Chan said in his blog that he got bored during the wait and went into the stands to watch the closing ceremony, which caused a distraction.

The actor said the Olympics helped improve China's image.

"We let the whole world see a China that's different from the China in the past. It's an athletic China, a new China, a clean China, a China that has never been seen before," Chan said.

Chan said he offered to transport the Olympic torch suspended from a helicopter when he was a torch bearer during the torch relay in the southern Chinese beach resort city Sanya, but organizers rejected the idea as too dangerous.

"If something happened and I had to sacrifice myself for the country, I would feel very honored," he said.

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