With almost the same bang as the opening ceremony the Beijing Olympics were closed by IOC President Jacques Rogge last evening.First at all it has been 17 days of exceptional achievements and records by all of the participating athletes who should be honored and congratulated.
But these Olympics were also about showing face! The Chinese organizers had to cater for 2 different audiences. The world, China had to show its rise as a superpower not caring about costs at all.
And for the citizens they had to justify the “official” $40 billion (insider say over 60 billion) inbuilding gigantic stadiums and other fabulous sports facilities (some of them may be hardly used afterwards), the closing down of factories, limiting travel within Beijing, putting thousands of people out of jobs for 4 months for reaching better air quality and using 1, 4 million citizens as “volunteers”. These volunteers also deserve a big round of applause for their efforts.
The closing ceremony was really spectacular and went again to extremes to satisfy every detail which will be hard measuring up to this level for future host cities.
The London Mayor and his Olympic committee were handed over the Olympic flag and an even bigger burden. Everything they do might or will be compared to Beijing. Can London compete with Beijing? Can any new host city compete? Does it matter?Definitely not and I think they even don’t want to. They will be different and great in their own way.They also know that the perception of these Games has become one of soul-less efficiency and robotic lockstep.
The Olympic Flame is extinguished. Beijing games are history. Good Luck London!