I have always been a big fan of the Olympic Games. This started I think when I saw1988 Seoul Olympics in tv in full color. The same Games that gave us a powerful catchy theme song “Hand in Hand” that still up to know the melody is humming in my mind. For years after, who would forget the flaming arrow being use to light the Olympic torch in Barcelona. Then there was Atlanta, Sydney, and back to the birthplace city of Olympics, Athens. Looking back, I felt the last three Olympic Games were not that much big deal to me, perhaps I was glued with studies and work more that time.
In a few hours the world would witness the greatest show on earth. All eyes set to Beijing for the opening 2008 Summer Olympic Games. And I must admit I would prefer by that by 8pm I would be seating in a couch with an HD tv before me watching the opening night. I felt my excitement for this sporting event was revived. The number one factor for that was because I am in China, the host country. Though Beijing may seem very far away from Shanghai, where I was stationed for my work, I felt somehow involved and connected to the Games. It’s a lame justification yet I found it a happy thought.
Also, I have been to China for almost a year now sometime traveling to its cities and countryside, to the galleries halls and fields. In Shanghai and other visits, I have a chance to learn China up close and reinforcing this with reading informative literature about them you’d really amazed how great and rich the Chinese culture, tradition and history. And these very elements made the opening ceremony an event to catch. My mind was already imagine the bang of fireworks and the many banners of red flying and floating, and the colorful music filling the air and the different dance and acts being performed by thousands in unison and in a very Chinese way. But let’s wait and see how director Zhang Yimou would orchestrate the opening.
Days before the Olympic commenced, I witnessed some cleaning. Some DVD stalls in Shanghai, like the one in Jing An temple, were no longer available for transaction. Pubs in Tongren Road, meanwhile stopped operating and were closed from happy hours to midnight. The familiar scene of girls inviting passersby were nowhere in sight and Shanghai popular pub street was like a ghost town on a Holy Friday. Red Beat announced that everything would be normalized August 5, well let’s see this weekend.
A Filipino friend was asked for his passport by a policeman doing a random inspection also in broad day light. So, it became a good habit to always carry your passport during this period. And since the city would be hosting football match in Shanghai Stadium, it’s a familiar sight to see a lot of police patrolling the area. In the news, the security in Beijing was tighter just see those surface to air missile near the Bird’s Nest Stadium. After 9-11 and the threats of terrorism, or after the governments of the world successfully feared its people with danger here and danger there, security became a tighter and tougher business.
Lastly, I’d appreciate what China is doing in preparation to hold this event. They have been criticized on their human rights records to environmental issues but remain steadfast to make the Games realize. A big blow came this May when Sichuan was hit by an 8.0 magnitude earthquake yet the people resilient like the Chinese bamboo saw the calamity as rallying point to get the ren min closer together.
Anyway saying all these, let’s all hope for a successful Olympics in Beijing. Hope the Olympics would create more understanding of China, and other countries and later the government of these countries would later disarm themselves for world wide peace. Amen. In my personal prayer meanwhile, I wish the Philippines to get first her gold medal here so this would be historical one.
Enjoy the Olympics everyone!!!
Let the Games begin!!!