Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Big O.

I have mostly amazing and wonderful things to say about my Olympic weekend. In the months leading up to 8/8/8, I had some concerns about the state of Beijing--it seemed like things would never come together. Everything seems to be going quite smoothly, though. The Olympic Greens are immaculate and Disney-esque; the volunteers are (at times overwhelmingly) helpful; people seem happy to be in China.

I just keep thinking about nationalism and patriotism and "is this good for China?" and "what kind of soft power will they acquire if this goes well?" and "I'm nauseated by the super-China messages sponsors are plastering across their faces." But.

Men's Gymnastics was, obviously, awesome. It's a bit over-stimulating though, because 6 teams are all competing at once, and your eyes are daring from floor routine to pommel horse to vault to parallel bars and back again. The Chinese team was quite phenomenal in all events, though I think Japan might edge them out in several gymnastic events. It was so great having the stadium filled with actual Chinese people; most of my students (save two) aren't planning on traveling to Beijing at all during the next two weeks, to my horror.

Fencing was quite a surprise, in terms of its excitement and drama. The athletes really displayed unique personalities and emotions through their craft (I know...trite trite trite); the "drama" was not that of typical athletic suspense but more of a "these people are a bit high-strung and finicky" way.

I may have been on the Today Show?

I had a great time and will be returning again next weekend, to see swimming on Saturday night I think? So. Rock. Photos are up, by the way.

Due to some unfortunate recent events, I now feel even more alone in Asia. I used to share this experience with one of my closest friends, but as events out of her control have forced her to return home early, I am not shouldering this burden by myself, I feel. Burden might not be the right word--rather, I used to share this experience with someone very close to me, and now I'm doing it all by my lonesome. So, that'll be a bit awkward. (Selfish me.)

No comments: