We are just a few weeks away from the Beijing Olympics. Here is my official ticket. I am hopeful that the incredible preparations China has made for this event will prove to be the most spectacular in Olympic history. The money and work China has invested in the Olympic games goes far beyond the amazing buildings constructed for the games. They have gone throughout the city to change every sign to read in proper English. All public workers were required to learn some functional English. The technology for managing traffic, air pollution, security, and even the weather are nothing short of star wars.
That being said, the big question becomes, “Will they pull it off?” We will soon find out. I believe this Olympics will be the most covered and watched in history. China knows the world will be watching and has a lot at stake to make this a success. Just remember it has only been a few years since China has opened itself to the world. I think they’ve come a long way in a short time. Of course they still have a lot of catching up to do in many ways.
I have had most of my preconceived notions of China shattered after living here almost 3 years now. You really have to see for yourself to understand what I mean. Sure, I could talk about some of the crazy things that go on here. In fact I make mention throughout my blog how these differences take form. But for all the differences, one thing is clear to me. The Chinese are just people with the same dreams, hopes and feelings as the rest of us. Strip away politics and governments and you end up with a people that value exactly the same things the western world embraces. In the coming weeks, I hope the Olympics will reveal some of the “inside China” 90% of the world does not see. Look past the spin BBC, CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, CCTV and politicians want you to believe about China. After all, they have an agenda to promote. Trust me, it’s not all what you’ve been led to believe. Above all else, I hope China can pull off these games, not with the success of winning medals, but with succeeding to open the minds of many westerners to the real China. At the very least, show herself to the world in a different light.
Let the games begin!