Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympics2008. What India Can't ?

Answer my ? on Yahoo Answer
I believe that there is something India can't ,but China doing/did :"Breaching umpteen doomsday predictions, Beijing shimmered in a breathtaking display of fireworks, colour and cultural soiree staging a perfect opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing tonight (August 8). A veritable architectural wonder of interwoven steel, the national stadium on the outskirt of the Chinese capital witnessed an ethereal ceremony studded with a heady concoction of tradition and technology and a dazzling display of a combination of man and machine. The three-and-a-half-hour show, witnessed by a capacity crowd of 91,000 people here and over one billion viewers on watching it on television, kicked off right at 2000 hrs local time the choice of date 08-08-2008 at 8 pm stems from the Chinese belief that number eight is auspicious for them. China has invested $43 billion on the Games, including 100 million dollars on the opening and closing ceremonies, twice the money expended at the 2004 Athens Games, promising to host the best ever Olympic Games over the next fortnight. Talks of human rights violation, pollution or the veil of haze hanging over the city seemed mere bagatelle compared to the blockbuster that Beijing produced tonight. The Indian contingent, led by flag bearer Athens silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, looked every bit proud. Men were dressed in off-white sherwanis while women mixed and matched, some draped in the traditional sarees and some others in western outfits. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in purple silk saree with golden border, waved at the Indian athletes with a broad smile. Sonia was accompanied by her MP son Rahul, daughter Priyanka, son-in-law Robert Vadhra and a grandson and a grand daughter, along with Sports Minister M S Gill, who appeared impressed by the proceedings. US President George W Bush and fellow movers and shakers of the world and commoners stood alike in awe as decks were cleared for a no-holds-barred battle among more than 10,500 athletes in 302 medal events over the next 16 days of fierce competition. The ceremony began with the beating of the ancient Chinese drum fou, followed by the display of Olympic rings and the Chinese national flag, as some 15,000 performers and thousands of fireworks gave the Games a sparkling start. Artistic performance formed the core part of the ceremony, projecting China's age-old civilisation and it's splendid modern face and it was followed by the theme song sung by China's Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman from Britain. The post-performance part of the ceremony comprised various Olympic rituals and traditions, including a declaration from Chinese President Hu Jintao opening the Games and a two-hour long parade of athletes. The huge stadium resembled a cauldron with a riot of colours as mind blowing fireworks illuminated Beijing skyline. Around 15,000 performers put up one of the most memorable shows ever. Delegations from 205 national and regional Olympic committees entered the stadium according to the order of the simplified Chinese characters. As is the custom, Greece was the first country in the march past and China, the hosts, came last. In between, 203 contingents passed, trying to outshine each other. With some 80 heads of states, including Bush, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, present at the extravagant show, it was staged under a thick security blanket. More than 110,000 security personnel were patrolling the Chinese capital where anti-missile barriers have been erected for the Bird's Nest stadium, the most expensive in Olympic history. The Games are expected to turn the global spotlight on the remarkable rise of China from a poverty-ridden and isolated nation to that of a emerging modern power as much as on the razzle-dazzle and its history of 5,000 years. Earlier, under the hazy skies, the final hours of the Olympic torch relay started in the morning at Zhoukoudian, a UNESCO heritage site in southwestern suburb, which has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including the remains of early human relative Peking Man dating to between 250,000 and 450,000 years. Weather has remained a big concern for the organisers but the Beijing Meteorological Bureau says heat and humidity will recede after the Chinese lunar-calendar autumn began yesterday. Four satellites are taking cloud images every 15 minutes, while 186 automated weather stations around the city gathering data every five minutes. Seven fixed Doppler radar stations and two mobile radar stations are also deployed. Olympic Games declared open by Chinese PresidentChinese President Hu Jintao officially declared open the 29th Olympic Games as triple gold medallist gymnast Li Ning lit the Olympic cauldron at the National Stadium, popularly known as the "Bird's Nest" in Beijing today (August 8).Jintao made the announcement in front of the capacity crowd of 91,000 at the National Stadium which staged a spectacular ceremony marking the start of the fortnight-long biggest sporting extravaganza on the earth.India is fielding a 56-member contingent, including Athens silver medallist shooter Rajvardhan Singh Rathod, and would be seen in action in various disciplines such as shooting, swimming, tennis, archery and boxing. However, India's eight-time champion hockey team would be missing the event for the first time in 80 years.More than 10,500 athletes in 302 medal events would compete for next 16 days. Delegations from 205 national and regional Olympic committees would participate in the quadrennial event.
I till be sorry to click(read as:blog) as an Indian;- since we easily recall the history about Mani-shankar Aiyar, Suresh Kalmadi? or more in a sense of Indian Sports without Cricket.

Olympic glamour:

As Beijing, China and the world prepare to embark upon the 29th Olympiad, sports haters scoff at all the fuss. However when looking at the ramifications ebbing off the Beijing Olympics only an ignoramus would claim it was a waste of time and effort. The important fact is that in the lead up to the Olympics many benefits have arisen justifying the mammoth expenditure.
Beyond the glitz and glam of mega projects in the capital like the Bird's Nest or Water Cube, vital infrastructure has been given a kick start such as the new subway system expansion opening lines 5, 10 and 8, and investment into public buses switching to liquid gas and electric models.
At the local community level we have paid witness to gradual improvements in our daily conditions. Apartment buildings have been renovated, ground entrance doors have had electric security doors fitted, trees have been planted and a general thorough clean up has been underway that has a profound and far reaching effect on people.
This hasn't taken place just on my street. I've noticed it occurring throughout Beijing and when I get a chance to visit other places around the country, I realise more investment and attention has been placed on improving public infrastructure-–which in many respects has a lot to thank the Olympics agenda for.
Positive outcomes have also been extended and capacity built in the areas of community health. Greater focus has been placed on preventing smoking. Increased attention has been paid on physical fitness helping to combat the rise in obesity. In part this has been leveraged by a new crop of Olympic related Chinese sporting celebrities. They offer healthy, globally successful role models that appeal to millions of aspiring Chinese. They make us proud.
Over the last few years the construction of sporting and gym equipment in local communities thanks to the China Lottery Commission has also occurred. Outdoor fitness centres have arisen in public parks, squares, schoolyards, and other locations across the country. It’s great to see so many people, so often the elderly, using these facilities and is something western countries could learn from-–where sadly such equipment is very quickly vandalised or the scene of anti-social behaviour committed by the young.
Without a doubt another positive stemming from the Olympics has been the intense interest from international observers concerning all things Chinese. Placed under the microscope there have been times to squirm but overall the nation has done a great job. The proliferation of Confucius centres is seeking to address this keen curiosity amid academics and a greater understanding between cultures of the world can only serve to improve future relations.
As China continues to offer a peaceful, civilised global agenda observers are beginning to question and see through prior prejudice.
Likewise an increased global awareness among Chinese has also mushroomed. We have seen millions striving to master the English language and for current and future tourists the adoption of English into menus and street signage is a much welcomed spillover from the Games. There is also a growing awareness now, particularly among cab drivers I speak to, who no longer assume all foreigners are American--that big noses can be from many places.
However, one fear among ‘China lovers’ is that beyond the closing ceremony, the nation loses this drive to constantly upgrade and that the attention that has been paid to public spaces over the last few years dwindles. Therefore rather than resting on our laurels and slapping ourselves on the back for a job well done, there are still huge areas demanding of an equally Herculean national effort--and a large proportion of this is environmental, energy and executive related.
In the lead up to the Olympics China has shown what it can do when it puts its mind to the task and sets a course of action for the nation to pursue. Beyond 08-08-08 we need to build upon this momentum and focus on new pressing goals.
This week an NGO called Climate Group reported that China was now the world's leading producer of energy from renewable resources and was on the way to overtaking developed countries in creating clean technologies. They also revealed that next year the nation will become the world's leader in wind turbines in addition to it now being the world leader in solar photovoltaic technology.
Their CEO was quoted as saying, "China's government is beginning to unleash a low-carbon dragon which will power its future growth, development and energy security objectives."
Underpinned by ethical decision makers acting in the public interest, the new generation of Chinese leaders coming up that have benefited from the last few years of stable growth, undoubtedly have a tremendous role to fill.
Let's hope as a nation, people and communities in this vast land continue to work together to solve these pressing challenges.
Beyond 08-08-08 the games are really just beginning.
Links here:<Beijing 2008 - Olympic Games >
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