These words have always had a certain meaning to me. The recent Olympics has certainly changed that.
There was so much media going into the Olympics. So much negativity raised drew our attention to the environment, Tibet, internet censorship, political governance, …
Despite all this, China and Beijing did its best to put on a show for the world and 204 countries came.
And it was quite a show. The media tried its best at times to focus on anything that could be construed as negative. From little girls to orchestrated television, we saw and read it all. Was this unique? Hardly. Despite its ability to bring the youth of the world together, the Olympics has always been fraught with its moments. There are huge pressures on athletes and organizers to win or put on the best show possible.
Beijing was certainly aware of the media scrutiny. They also used it to their advantage with incredible opening and closing ceremonies. You had to pay attention to every moment lest you miss something spectacular. I swear that I saw things in the closing ceremonies that just weren’t humanly possible. Kudos to the designers and choreographers. It was a show well shown.
In four years, the show moves to London who had a small part in the closing ceremonies. The biggest highlight for me of their part had to be Jimmy Page live. Robert Plant has been working with Alison Krauss and now Page appears with Leona Lewis to show the world what a gold medal performance on the guitar is all about. What would it take to get them back together?
China and Beijing can recover today knowing that they put on a world show second to none. For the past two weeks, they stood on the world’s stage and orchestrated a show that had us riveted. “Made in China” should take on a whole new meaning for us.
As things return to normal, you have to hope that the country has the desire to continue to work shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world and address many of the issues identified. That would be an incredible legacy.