Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic-Sized Olympics


That is really the best way I can describe this year's Olympic games, starting from that amazingly grandiose opening ceremony, which I thought was a great balance of sheer power and graceful precision. As I sit here watching this beautiful closing ceremony I'm reminded of how quick the Olympics come and go and how for two weeks you kind of forget about everything else that is going on in the world. When I was in Beijing last fall and took this picture in front of the very much work-in-progress Bird's Nest I could not have imagined the spectacle that was to come only half a year later.

China made their statement, there is no doubt. You have to feel a little bad for jolly ol' London for having to follow this act (seems like anything short of reviving actual Beatles will seem insignificant) but really China's resources and manpower are beyond compare. What few notions and stereotypes the average person in the world had about China have been shattered I'd say and anyone who doesn't believe China is the future is in denial.

I love the Olympics because it makes heroes and stars out of people who are defined only by their dedication to their passions. Forget reality stars. Forget those who are celebrities simply for being dumb, rich folk. Forget the spoiled elite who have everything handed to them in life and strut with a sense of entitlement. Pretty much all these Olympic athletes are "regular" people, which is why it is so easy to cheer for them when they succeed and sympathize when they fall.

It's a shame the Olympics are only every four years, but then again that's what make them so great.

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