(Olympic) Game on!

Well, things have gotten underway in Beijing (darn time difference!). Now begins the time of “score temptation,” when I must resist the urge during the day to see who’s doing what, and instead wait until I get home and watch it all “unfold” on primetime t.v. I have written previously and I’ll state again that I think it is a good thing that these Olympics are taking place in China, because it has turned a spotlight on that nation’s woes that many Americans would otherwise never have known about. And it has made the Chinese officials face public attention on these issues. I’m not happy with everything they have done in the past few days, but it’s nothing they haven’t been doing for many years. And now it’s actually being reported. Go figure.

An interesting place to read about the behind-the-scenes activities is at the ESPN Olympics Blog, which is being written by ESPN reporters in Beijing. For example, this today:

About 20 of us are watching the opening ceremonies on Chinese TV here in our Beijing office.

The office has been in serious lockdown mode all day. There is an office security force here wearing these black uniforms — we’ve named them The Sprockets.

At one point, some of the fireworks went off. Several people stood up and went to the window, as our office is located directly across from the Olympic Green and we have a great view of the Bird’s Nest. Well, The Sprockets came running in to tell us to get away from the windows, that it is very dangerous.

Did they think we could be mistaken for snipers?!

Don’t worry, I won’t be mentioning any scores here until after an event is finished. Now, police action and demonstrations, that’s another story ….



  1. I am already sick of hearing about China, and the Games are just getting started.

    I am sick of hearing about “the Chinese Century,” when that phrase only makes me think of another one from history: “The Thousand Year Reich.”

    I am sick of hearing about the “happy, hard-working Chinese people.” How quickly we forget the scenes of those parents outside their kids’ schools a short time ago, those schools that collapsed during the earthquake there, due to shoddy construction and pay-offs to public officials.

    I am sick of hearing about the “new openness” that the media is seeing, while we don’t hear much about all the dissidents and journalists who were rounded up and thrown in prison over the past few months, about the continued repression of religious groups and pro-democracy forces, about the thousands who lost their homes without adequate compensation to make room for new Olympic facilities.

    Yes, we get some of all that. But not enough.

    Thank goodness for Netflix. I’ll be using them a lot over the next couple weeks…

  2. Well, I think I’ll turn the sound off whenever NBC starts in on that “new openness” crap. Instead, I’ll rely on Amnesty International to find out what the real political climate is like in China:

    The International Olympic Committee has stated that it relies on
    international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, to monitor and report on the human rights situation in China and that it is committed to listening to these organizations. If grave human rights violations are not being sufficiently addressed
    as part of the preparations for the Games, the International Olympic Committee is compelled to take action.

  3. oooo, fancy new digs. I’m just back from the woods to see the opening ceremonies.

    no peeking!

  4. When I saw my mom yesterday, she raved on and on about how beautiful the opening ceremony was (she watched until the Americans marched by because it went so late), so I felt bad that I didn’t see it. I did watch a few events last night, and enjoyed watching Phelps take the gold in swimming. I doubt if I’ll see many of the events, just a few that I can catch here and there.

    I’m trying to put aside the political and think of the athletes. I wish this could be about just them and nothing else.

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