16 days, and yesterday saw the closing ceremony of the first ever Olympics hosted in China. From the opening ceremony directed by Zhang Yimou that was filled with fireworks, to the smooth completion of the games, and the final closing ceremony befitting that of an international world class event, China has shown the world it has arrived at the global stage. It did that by getting a record number of 51 gold medals, topping the medal tally in the number of gold medals. The US might have gotten more in terms of total medal count, but their gold medals are way overshadowed by China’s team successes.
I think it is fair to say that China successfully organized the best Olympic in the last few decades. From the amazing designs of the Stadium and the Aquatics Centre and the security measures put in place, they have allowed the smooth running of the Olympics and allowed fair competition to take place amongst nations. With this said, there are always reports that have touched upon the political protests and of course some other organizing details that sought to discredit China for what it has done. First of all was the blockage of reporters to access certain sensitive sites and China-bashing through human rights accusations. Should we take this into account, why didn’t these human rights activists spearhead a boycott of the London Olympics 2012 as well, since the British Empire didn’t particularly have a great human rights record as well, do they? And the Olympics shouldn’t be used as a means to politics, for it is an event that brings global unity amongst people across all nations. To discredit the effort put in by the people who made the 2008 Olympics a success is a mistake. Second, the Games in Beijing wasn’t without its controversies. China, in its quest to ensure everything was perfect, staged a ‘ventriloquist’ child during the opening ceremony and used Computer-Generated graphics for the fireworks shown on TV broadcast (they did, however, used a lot of fireworks in the real ceremony; the CGs were for safety reasons). This is where it shows that China, and maybe Asia, still has some areas for improvements in terms of accountability. Respecting individuals, playing fair and acting reasonably would have made the 2008 Beijing Olympics flawless. This did not, however, mean that China did not host a great Olympic, for Beijing 2008 has been a huge success for the athletes, the city itself and of course, a source of pride for Chinese people around the globe.