Update: Wow! I just finished watching the creative part of the ceremony. I haven't even seen the amazing torch lighting yet, but I am in awe. Zhang Yimou outdid himself on this one. And it was so Chinese, so much done by pure people power and nothing more. Way to go! That's what you can do when you have 3,000+ years of civilization to draw from. Despite what it has gone through in recent history, I have a feeling Chinese civilization will outlive all the others on earth.
As a kid, I used to love the Olympics, but I have been sort of out of the loop the past several years. In fact, I can't even remember where the last Winter Olympics were held, and I am pretty sure I was busy elsewhere when the Summer Olympics were held in Athens. (That was where they were last, wasn't it?)
But I am more excited about this Olympics than perhaps any of my whole lifetime. Those of you who know me or who have read my blog for awhile know that China, its people, and its culture hold a special place in my heart. I am looking forward to seeing China show the best of itself to the world.
I'll admit that when I first heard the announcement that Beijing had been chosen to host the games, I was a little shocked. After all, BJ is not the most pleasant city in the Summer. Even without the pollution, it is still really hot. Perhaps Kunming would have been a better choice. But I still had no doubt that the Chinese could make their capital inviting to athletes and spectators if they set their minds to it. Despite all of the negative press China has received over the past few months, I know that the legendary work ethic and determination of the Chinese, combined with their strong sense of national pride, will succeed. In fact, if anyone is an ideal candidate to hold the Olympics in this age of heightened security, China is it. Though something could still happen, the Chinese will have things more organized and under control than most any other country could hope, and they will do it all with the greatest of hospitality.
I'm sure there are many things that one could criticize about China (many arising from cultural bias), but for the next two weeks, I hope we will all be able to sit back and enjoy the show. I, for one, am cheering for China. "Jia you, Zhongguo! Jia you!" (Go, China! Go!)