"Standing in China's Olympic Shadow"

The enormous number of gold medals hanging from the necks of Chinese athletes--a startling 51 to Japan's meager 9--was just the icing on the cake after a humbling two weeks of events for Japan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Japan and China enjoyed a relatively peaceful relationship during the Games, as hostilities towards the visiting country were not readily apparent. Negative news regarding China also suddenly dropped off as Japanese tuned themselves in to networks blaring the poppy theme song "Gift" by Mr Children and focused on the the trials and triumphs of their 328 athletes.

Beijing Olympic StadiumChina's Olympic explosion in Beijing Photo courtesy of Telegraph.co.ukThe show, China's great demonstration of power, has finished. Yet the commentary has only begun regarding what such a giant--and expensive at $43 billion--performance will mean to the future of the country and to the Olympics themselves. The foreign media hailed the games as a logistic success, but many are dubious as to the motives of such horn-tooting and the effects this outrageous event will have on future Games.

The expensive and gaudy production put on by the Chinese were of definite worry to London, host of the 2012 Games. But as one LA Times reporter commented, "British officials are no doubt wondering how they can possibly top the spectacle of Beijing when London hosts the Summer Games in 2012. They shouldn't even try."

While commentary regarding the production of the events is noticeably sparse in the Japanese media, the Yomiuri did make the call that they were "unprecedented egotism on the part of the host city."

It is no doubt Tokyo is feeling this pressure as well, and although its not their responsibility to follow up after China's performance, Japan's inferiority complex in the light of a stagnant economy is difficult to hide. But in true form, Tokyo officials have begun pushing the message "Small is Beautiful," claiming that a 2016 Tokyo Olympics would be compact and environmentally friendly.

The Wall Street Journal reports that city officials would push for reusing older facilities instead of bleeding funds into construction, and that transportation times for athletes to Olympic venues would take under 20 minutes. The article quotes Ichiro Kono, chairman of the Tokyo 2016 committee, as playing things cool in the of China's glory, saying "We don't feel like Beijing's set the standard in any way, we're not aiming to be big."


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Comments

Very much in line with Beijing's new Olympic record in hosting the games, the organizers resorted to something which most people seem to dislike now as it has come out into the open: The girl seen singing - Lin Miaoke - during the opening ceremony was only lip-synching the voice of another girl - Yang Peiyi -, because Yang was not deemed cute enough. For the rest of here life Yang will remember that she was perceived not pretty enough to represent her country. One can only hope this unnecessary exercise will not do too much damage to the psyche of both girls. I feel sorry for both of them.

Punching the words "olympic girl singing" (without quotes) into a search engine gives weeks worth of reading about this sad incident. Which is good in a way, as it shows that most people disagree with what happened and do express it.

While hosting such an event poses an enormous logistic challenge, and the Chinese did very well in this regard, neither London nor Tokyo need to outdo the enormity of this event, and certainly do not need to fake things, for that matter.

Helmut Debes

How to major the success of Olympic games is not about how much the country spent for its ceremony, but it is about how much they made from the investment they have put in. How much revenue has the Olympic stadium generated since the end of Olympic games? How long does it take to make it up to the cost of the stadium?

Image that the nation represent for the product that comes from the country is also important. I do not remember what the girl who sang at the opening ceremony looked like, but I remember that she lip sang the song. The firework was CG aided. These impression shows me how I can trust the word that Chinese manufacture gives to its customers. You might wanna open up the box of Lenovo computer when you buy them next time. Are the chip set inside the box the chip set they said you get? Are the memory new or recycled.

What England should do for their London Olympics is keeping the cost the nation has to support low so that they can make it easier to on its taxpayers. Instead, they can push the image of people friendly Olympic game to other country. Asking for donations from non-conventional organizations such as Green Peace, or Amnesty International to make symbolic appearances as they can cover the part of the monetary cost and its labors.

Selling the ownership of the Olympic stadium online (internationally) for small portion of donation might be a good idea to increase the budget for the construction.

Trying to have Prince William's wedding at the opening ceremony might create a huge media shock to the world. That surely increase the attention from the viewers all over the world.

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