Monday, August 18, 2008

Beautiful Games

The Games, are a beautiful thing. The audience cheered for a forceful US strike on the beach sand transported from Hainan, for the Slovenian who won the first-ever track-and-field gold for his country, and for the Russian woman who broke the world-record in 5000-meter steeplechase.

The jumpers led the crowd to clap for him before he set off. The audience ahh'ed when he failed.

Then there's the Irish lady who fell into the water in the steeplechase. The crowd cheered her on, as loudly as for the Jamaicans after they swept women's 100-meter dash.

The young did the wave they had just learned and clapped until their hands sore. The middle-aged laughed. The old guy sitting next to me, with his white hair under a white humble hat, kept perfectly still and straight for a good hour. Then, melting into the crowd, he smiled gently and mouthed a 加油 (Go! Go!).

My eyes went moist. The Games bring the best out of people. Perhaps the Chinese still don't know how to cheer like a sophisticated Western crowd (How to do the wave again? And can they learn some new way to cheer other than waving the little flags and yelling 加油?). Perhaps the government is bent on all kinds of schemes--dirty or not--to put on a perfect show. Perhaps some citizens have pursued nationalism to the point of xenophobia. But the China I saw at the Games--the old reluctant to show their emotions and the young screaming their hearts out--by so eagerly learning to embrace the Olympic spirit, is already part of the spirit.


Other Lisa said...

Hey there! Didn't realize you were back in the blogging saddle. I will probably be back in Beijing in February - hopefully you will be there too. See you then!

Anonymous said...

From reactions I've seen, I think the Chinese People won the hearts of many worldwide.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog, I have some questions about your film, what's the best way to get in touch? Thanks!

Beijing Loafer said...

Email me at beijingorbust AT Or give me your email. Thx

wunderer said...

nice fotos!! Perfect work!!!!

KK said...

The whole idea of the Olympics is the biggest and boldest dream on earth. Can you think of another event that common folks around the world, some 200 countries strong, can come together and agree to play by the rules?

And your blog captured very well what this dream does to people. I'm proud of the idea of the Olympics in general. I'm even more proud that it took place in China this year.

Keep it up. (And if you haven't, check out Celine Dion's song, "The Power of The Dream", for the Olympics in Atlanta. Youtube has a nice version of it.)


the_fender_bender_10 said...

I like you blog, anyway thats not the reason I came here. I came here because I am looking to get in contact with people going or living in Beijing.
I have some questions for you,
-What was it like at the Olympic Games?
-Is staying in Beijing any different from North America?
-Can you recommend any restaurants?

You can contact me at