Friday, August 01, 2008

Jiayou Beijing!

Seven years, billions of RMB, and countless man-hours later, this month will see Beijing host the world's premiere sporting event.

Nobody could deny the road to the opening ceremony has been more than a little rocky, especially this year, and feelings toward the Olympics among the capital's expat and local community are certainly mixed.

Nevertheless, it's time to put the politics aside, at least for a few weeks, and enjoy some top-notch sporting and cultural entertainment.

Jiayou Beijing!

Most Chinese are proud of how far their country has come in order to host these Games, and rightly so. Beijing 2008 has thrown a harsh spotlight on some of China's problems, but it has also shown the world that the Chinese people are passionate, creative, welcoming, fair-minded, and resolute in the face of adversity. Anyone who visits the capital this August will quickly realize that it's not really multi-billion dollar stadia and gleaming subway lines that make China a great nation, but the Chinese people themselves.

Jiayou Beijing!

If I were to give a single piece of advice to first-time Beijing visitors this August, it would be: don't get lost in all the razzle-dazzle, but take some time to appreciate the little things going on around you – the Beijingers who are working hard to make sure every guest has an enjoyable and interesting Olympic visit. Just as sport transcends age, cultural, and political differences, so these Games are the perfect opportunity to bring Chinese and laowai closer together, regardless of race, religion, or personal opinion.

Jiayou Beijing!


Images © Daniel Allen

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