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China delivers an Olympics like no other

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Mihir Bose | 14:08 UK time, Friday, 22 August 2008

The Beijing Olympics was always going to be different from any other recent Olympics.

None of the usual questions that tend to surround an Olympics mattered here: money, organisation, level of government support and the public's enthusiasm - or indeed lack of it.

Instead, the question China faced was: should a regime like this have the honour of the biggest gathering of people in peaceful sporting competition without agreeing to change its authoritarian ways?

This issue was presented very clearly seven years ago when the International Olympic Committee voted for Beijing.

The leader of the rival Paris bid said China should get the Expo but not the Olympics. China's human rights record, he argued, ruled it out for the Olympics. Even though he himself was one of many businessmen who believed engagement with China was a good thing, giving it the Olympics was held up as an endorsement the country did not yet deserve.

In ignoring that advice, the IOC took the view that the Olympics simply had to come to the home of nearly a quarter of the world's population.

True, it nodded in the direction of human rights with its then director general Francois Carrard saying the IOC would monitor human rights in China.

But, as President Jacques Rogge put it to me, while China has had to open up as a result of hosting the Games, it was unrealistic to expect the Games to go where world leaders had failed.

It was always fanciful to expect that this 17-day festival of sport would completely change China, or that China would change a sporting system invented by a French count and now run by a Belgian count. Not in any fundamental ways at least.

Indeed, as Rogge also points out, the IOC came to China for its own reasons related to the Olympics.

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It took the decision in the summer of 2001, when both the organisers for the 2004 Athens summer Games and the 2006 Turin Winter Games were suffering seemingly insurmountable problems.

Athens, having messed up its structure, was so behind schedule that there was real fear it might not be ready.

Turin, whose choice as the 2006 Winter Games was an unintended consequence of the Salt Lake City corruption scandal, did not have adequate facilities, needed more funding and was not certain the Italian government could or would help.

In contrast China simply told the IOC: "Give us the Games and we will do whatever you want."

And that is exactly what has happened.

China has given the IOC great venues - there can be nothing more iconic than the Bird's Nest, a true "object for the world" exactly as Ai Weiwei, its Chinese architect, intended.

The Bird's Nest

The infrastructure development has been amazing, as anyone who has used Beijing's new airport will testify. The transport plan has also worked, making Beijing's previously impossible traffic more than manageable.

And the venues have provided some of the most memorable sports seen in many an Olympics.

We had a first week so dominated by Michael Phelps that we had to scurry through the record books to ask if he was a greater Olympian than Carl Lewis or Jesse Owens.

Then Usain Bolt stole the show in the second week, making the 100 metres once again magical and worthy of a race to decide the fastest man on earth.

And alongside all this, Team GB has broken free from the rather depressing British history of failing to deliver by enjoying its best Games for a century. In doing so, athletes have created some truly great sporting moments, which have been surprising and stunning in equal measure.

Many other countries have also had Beijing highlights to treasure. India, the world's most underachieving sporting nation, won its first ever individual gold, as did Panama and Bahrain, while Mongolia, Afghanistan, Togo, all won their first medals.

The Beijing Olympics will also have an impact on the United States. Since the collapse of the Wall and of the old Soviet Union, its dominance of the Games has not been challenged.

But China will top the gold tally this time round. And that has prompted Americans to ask whether their athletes should get government funding - the US is the only nation that does not provide it.

Indeed, as China and Asia continue to grow as world economic powers, America's sway over Olympic finances may also come under pressure.

Many in the Olympic movement feel that if the 20th century was Europe and America's great century of sport, then the 21st century might belong to China and Asia.

While China's presentation at many of the sporting venues was a pale copy of what you might get in the NBA or at a baseball game, the Chinese have been determined throughout the last two weeks to show they can do sport like the West.

And there can be no doubt that the Beijing Olympics have done just that.


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  • 1. At 3:34pm on 22 Aug 2008, attiq786 wrote:

    I completely agree with the above blog from Mihir regarding the presentation of the Olympics by the Chinese. I also think that there has been an awful lot of envy from other nations regarding the way that the Chinese have established one of the best Olympics in the modern era.

    One of the most heartening things was the way, we the British, came of age and finally became competitors. Even when the much fancied Philph Oduku got silver, he looked pretty upset at not getting gold. This will bode well for the London 2012 and I am sure that with this conviction he will secure gold. The cycling team were marvellous and they seem to have the model for success that other events need to follow.

    For the first time I watched and marvelled at the gymnastics and the commentating from the BBC's expert defintely contributed to the excitement and awe of the skill that these athletes provided.

    My only gripe with the Olympics is the stark contrast between nations and what events they seem to win. The 'richer' sports such as horse-riding, swimming, sailing etc are all dominated by western countries whilst the poorer countries seem to dominate sports that are easy and less expensive to play. I wonder if the next olympics we get to see a medal for an African nation in one of the Equestrian events. Somehow I don't think so!

    Overall a fantastic Olympics with the main highlights being Usein 'lighting' Bolt doing the unimaginable and breaking two world records and Michael Phelps getting 8 gold medals. These guys are just amazing and a credit to their nations. We also have Chris Hoy who won 3 golds and the keys to Scotland!

    Well done China on a superb showcase!!!!

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  • 2. At 4:21pm on 22 Aug 2008, Cantab wrote:

    Having grown up in the UK. I find myself defending the virtues of democracy without any evidence to back it up.

    What is democracy? The freedom to think, express and choose. Yet, even in democracies there are restrictions on the limit of our ability to do so, for albeit good reasons. There are laws, and an abundance of them.

    Our voting system attracts less than a third of the population, who quite frankly can't care less as long as they are given the ability to vote. Even if they never exercise that ability.

    Do companies ask their cleaners who should be come CEO? Not really, yet that isn't called dictatorship? It's simply common sense. Yet, the decisions of the leaders very much affect everyone in the company.

    So, I ask the peole who condemn China for a single party state. I ask you to look at every business, to look at other democracies and your own. Who has the right to hold any games? We all do.

    Bad leaders can ruin a good democracy and a benevolent emperor can bring happiness to its people. Statemanship and political system are equally important. However, who are you to judge another?

    For China too can rain down a fury of: Free Wales and Scotland, Alaska + Hawaii, stir up hell's wrath in the Middle East. Yet, not one Chinese person even contemplates doing so. Unaware, we are not. We simply are not down right rude when it comes to international politics.

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  • 3. At 4:34pm on 22 Aug 2008, Wentao_Lin wrote:

    er, let's play politics on BBC Sports,

    Should a regime invaded a sovereign nation have the honour of the biggest gathering of people in peaceful sporting competition without agreeing to change its aggressive ways?

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  • 4. At 5:15pm on 22 Aug 2008, attiq786 wrote:

    Freedom and democracy are fundamental to the way we live our lives but should it govern who gets to host the Olympics?

    China has become a world super power by adopting the business practices of capitalism. I tend to think that the Chinese are far too clever not to extend the freedoms in business to the personal freedoms that are enjoyed by democracies all over the world. If communism was defeated without any wars then why is it so absurd for the Chinese to be left to find their own way. All we can do is to promote democracy and nudge and push in the right direction.

    The Olympics have given the Chinese the right platform to engage with the world and they have certainly shown that they know how to host the 'mother of all Olympics'.

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  • 5. At 5:20pm on 22 Aug 2008, c_murphy86 wrote:

    In taking this Olympics so seriously I do feel that China have slightly missed the point of the Olympics. At times it has felt like it is there to make a point rather than to be enjoyed in stark contrast to Sydney which remains for me the best games of my lifetime.

    The Liu Xiang situation is a prime example, his being unable to compete should have been a disappointment not a tragedy and as a symbol of new China he should still have been celebrated. I doubt if Cathy Freeman had been unable to compete in 2000 it would have illicited such a grim response from the Aussies.

    While the games has been exceptionally memorable for its sporting moments I can't recall many striking crowd scenes, except the protests that followed the torch and one poor bloke on the news saying that his life had no meaning since he'd been unable to get tickets, again all a bit grim and serious.

    Its interesting to compare the Beijing Games with the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, while Beijing has been perfectly organised, a better sporting occasion, and has showcased an exceptionally strong national team, the World Cup was far more enjoyable for the fans, better use of technology as has been pointed out in a previous blog, better atmosphere, more individual, better character and a freeflowing exciting national team.

    The games have been an awesome advert for sport and we've been blessed by some extraordinary performances but ultimately what have we learned about China?

    We knew it was an economic powerhouse, we knew it was a nation of considerable political power, we knew it was an emerging sporting talent and its hard to see what more we've learned about them. Furthermore the games have hardly dispelled the old stereotypes of China being a characterless superstate obsessed with its own prestige and with little respect for individual human rights.

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  • 6. At 5:34pm on 22 Aug 2008, c_murphy86 wrote:

    2. At 4:21pm on 22 Aug 2008, LondonYC wrote:

    Do companies ask their cleaners who should be come CEO? Not really, yet that isn't called dictatorship? It's simply common sense. Yet, the decisions of the leaders very much affect everyone in the company.


    While I agree wholeheartedly about most of the hypocisies you've listed it is still important to notice the gradations. A corrupt CEO is not above the reproach of the law nor is he above the reproach of his staff, staff can at least go on strike the same which cannot be said of the Chinese people, staff can lodge libel complaints, reveal abuses to the wider public and in general have a suprising ability to bring down a CEO with enough justification.

    Most of the West's wealth has come from plundered wealth, enslavement and the genocide of native populations, not to mention extensive wasting of the world natural resources and China has as much right to turn round and demand reparations for the damage Western countries have done to the world as the West does to demand the cessation of similar abuses in China. That of course doesn't make it right.

    The most important difference between China and America is that America atleast recognises its responsibilities to the wider world as a leading superpower even if it abuses those responsibilities and ignores them when it suits them. China has yet to fully accept its role in worldwide cooperation and as such it is questionable whether it deserves to hold an event which is the ultimate symbol of that cooperation.

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  • 7. At 5:51pm on 22 Aug 2008, popefridge wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 6:29pm on 22 Aug 2008, michaellou wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 6:32pm on 22 Aug 2008, michaellou wrote:

    Whether China should hold the games or not..isnt really something for anyone here to judge. the Olympics is not something the west has the right to "give" about arrogance.

    The Olympics belong to everyone, not just the west, thank you!

    Congrats, China!!!!!!

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  • 10. At 6:48pm on 22 Aug 2008, pvsdbqmd wrote:

    Can anyone help me here? I'm slightly uneasy with Mihir's recent broadcasts but can't put my finger on it. He seems to be tending towards extra funding from whatever sources so that we can 'put on a show' with top grade venues and facilities. To be fair, he has reminded everyone of the primary focus - the competitors - but he's clearly trying to alert eveyone against complacency and confusion of purpose. Problem is, I think, that dear Mihir has adopted the middle-class British problem of indirectness. What is your worry Mihir? Under-investment? Emphasis on GB nationalism rather than promotion of the Olympian ideal? Go on Mihir, go Scottish and tell us directly what's troubling you!

    Final point - no country takes on the Olympics burden without calculating benefits. China had its own agenda and was determined this would not be confused or corrupted by any discussion about civil rights. The UK population will not accept that but then, although we are no angels, we would not set out to destroy communities to build stadia - we'd at least try to develop the communities.

    So it is perfectly justifiable that our 'show' will be less grandiose but more sustainable and we should be happy with that.

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  • 11. At 6:51pm on 22 Aug 2008, attiq786 wrote:

    "..The most important difference between China and America is that America atleast recognises its responsibilities to the wider world as a leading superpower even if it abuses those responsibilities and ignores them when it suits them. China has yet to fully accept its role in worldwide cooperation and as such it is questionable whether it deserves to hold an event which is the ultimate symbol of that cooperation"

    I have to disagree with this paradoxically flawed paragraph. The US has invaded 2 countries; continues to not sign the Kyoto agreement on climate change and opposes the the International Court in the Hague.

    How has the US accepted its responsibilities?

    Whilst I am no fan of the control structure in Chinese society I do not see China as not cooperating. It was China that was the main player to convince the regime in North Korea to disarm its nulcear programme. If the US had been left to its devices then North Korea would now be a nuclear state!
    As for the US's role in the middle east, it has become a cruel joke with no pretensions as to its bias for Israel and its inhumane treatment of the Palestinians.

    The decision to award the Olympics should be based on the ability to deliver them in a manner that is professional and equitable. The Chinese have done a superb job and its only petty jealously and envy that stops them getting the accolade that they deserve.

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  • 12. At 7:05pm on 22 Aug 2008, gamray wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 13. At 7:13pm on 22 Aug 2008, tomhylands wrote:

    In response to michaellou , i dont agree that us brits have tried to smear this olympics at all, in fact i think the majority, like myself, have been in awe of every aspect of it - the sporting moments, the venues and the general feel of it - yes your probably right, we wont have such an elaborate olympics as China and we've said that already! but it will still be special in its own way like all olympic games are.

    Yes China has done exceptionally well in the medals tally and i think most people are pleased for them but at the same time Team GB has done exceptionally well, in fact the best we've done for over a century - not bad really!

    The lack of creativity comment i agree with to a certain extent but to be honest you cant have the most elaborate spectacle ever in a tiny 8 minute slot!

    I'm sure we're going to deliver an olympics worthy of remembrance with the talent, the budget and the technical competence that we have in Britain!

    Rant Over! but i have really enjoyed every minute of this olympics and have found myself glued to the TV or computer at all hours just for the fact its been brilliant! Theres been lots of shocks and some spectacular moments, Usain Bolt and GB cycling stick out for me!

    Bring on 2012!

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  • 14. At 7:44pm on 22 Aug 2008, attiq786 wrote:

    "michaellou, given your obvious contempt for Great Britain, please feel free to get lost from a site which my license fee pays for, eh?"


    Gamray - I feel sorry for you that you have to resort to petty nationalism to make comments on michaellou. This is the same thing that Tony Blair used when responding to accusations of genocide in Iraq. The war mongerer's response was to say that you should be lucky to live in a country that allows you to make these comments!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Gamray - democracy is about freedom and not where you are from. There is a difference between equality and exclusivity.

    I personally love the Chinese approach and personality to the Olympic Games. You may have noticed Jac Rogges horrified response to the UK when they suggested that the London 2012 Olympics might not be as good!

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  • 15. At 8:13pm on 22 Aug 2008, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso wrote:

    For Mihir Bose: The people of China have delivered an Olympics that is superior to the Olympics of the 20th Century. They also delivered an Olympics in which sports and politics are separated. I think it is the West that should learn from China and start respecting the differences of others.

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  • 16. At 8:18pm on 22 Aug 2008, smellslikesalmon wrote:

    michaellou - given how you've responded to a few fairly moderate comments on China, imagine how you'd respond if I wrote something like that about China? Is all that stuff about "overflowing toilets" and "humiliation" really necessary?

    To be honest, any valid points you may raise are lost when you lower the tone like this and it makes you appear to be quite bitter and insecure. Why so worried about what a pathetic little country like ours thinks of your Olympics? (they have been great by the way)

    I've been to China many times and could come up with many comments like yours, but would never do so - as my opinion of the Chinese people goes up every time I go there. And every time I read comments like yours it declines again.

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  • 17. At 9:33pm on 22 Aug 2008, mike wrote:

    I think people need to reflect on what the Olympics and IOC movement is. The Olympics is a worldwide sporting event. It is not the United Nations, Amnesty International or any other organisation.
    This is an important qualification. Especially given the debates over China's human rights record and the award of the games. I do not believe the award of the Olympics should be seen as an endorsement of politics, social policy or international relations. If we were to say China can't host a games because of this or that reason, then can Britain host it too with its past Imperialism and colonial disputes? The list of objections to any country hosting the games would be endless. I could go through every country in the world and list at least one objection according to human rights violations, press freedom, corruption, war torn, ethnic cleansing.
    This is not to ignore the problems in any country, but it is not the job of the IOC and Olympics to cure all the ills in the world. But by bringing people from all around the world together to compete and play games may help us understand us all a little better.

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  • 18. At 9:40pm on 22 Aug 2008, mike wrote:

    Quote:5) Hate to tell you all, but China won, and all you China haters can now go crawl back where you came from. And TIBET IS STILL PART OF CHINA! Deal with it.

    Dear michaellou
    Tibet is a province-level autonomous region of the Peoples Rep of China. This is a huge legal difference, like saying Scotland is part of England.

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  • 19. At 00:36am on 23 Aug 2008, chimiratastic wrote:

    Oh dear, the heading "China delivers an Olympics like no other" drew me in and I thought it might actually make some interesting point.

    Having ploughed through the article it does nothing of the kind. Why are you wasting time and effort on journalists trotting out anodyne articles saying nothing, BBC?.

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  • 20. At 02:40am on 23 Aug 2008, tommy wrote:

    I feel that when it comes down to it, the events will never change, so Michael Phelps could have been in any swimming pool in the world, just as Chris Hoy could have been in any velodrome in the world, give Usain Bolt a running track and he will run on point?

    Well, I feel as though when it comes down to it, its the athletes who make the games truly magnificent not the hosts. As a viewer of the games, I have only truly been concerned with the action, not any of the politics surrounding the build up.

    When it comes down to it, the issues that have been discussed many times round do not matter the only fight they have on their hands is to win and take part. They do so peacefully, with dignity and professionalism.

    We can wax lyrical about all those things mentioned in your blog, but in doing so do we not undermine the olympic competitors achievements? They are setting an example to the World, I say let them have their moment without tarnishing it.

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  • 21. At 04:46am on 23 Aug 2008, hizento wrote:

    "infinitylies wrote:
    its the athletes who make the games truly magnificent not the hosts."

    I disagree it is just the athletes because if the host fail to accomodate the atheletes well, the venue not up to scratch and many things besides, how can athlete compete well and indeed breaks world record?
    Don't forget China cleared up the pollution for the Games, created excellent facilities for athletes to live, eat, train, etc. Most of all the magnificent of the venues inspire all those involve to do their level best.

    In the Atlanta Olympics China fielded a very strong womens swimming team but was given, some say deliberately, poor accomodation by their US host and on the night before the finals someone keep setting off the fire alarms at their apartment. Similar antics was used against other competitors seen as threats to US medal chances. Atlanta 1996 was a poor Olympics for athletes and audience largely attributed by the host.

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  • 22. At 11:30am on 23 Aug 2008, rambo60 wrote:

    i agree with you mihir indeed i go as far as to say that these games have set the blue print and standard for future games and worthy of the statement as the best games ever well done china

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  • 23. At 3:08pm on 23 Aug 2008, BeijingLondon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 3:37pm on 23 Aug 2008, BeijingLondon wrote:

    To post 13

    michallou's comments were mostly correct although he obviously crossed the mark by pointing at 'Brits' in general.

    It is the BBC and most British media that need to reflect on their reporting of the Beijing games. Yes, China have a lot of things to correct, pretty much like anywhere on this planet. But running too many negative stories on China is more than provocative. It actually invites hate and makes the Chinese, particularly the educated, believe that the Brits in general hate China. That's exactly the effect the lots of BBC have already achieved, although that may not be their intention.

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  • 25. At 4:04pm on 23 Aug 2008, mxb160 wrote:

    michaellou, like you, I think Beijing put on a spectacular Games. But I'm glad you will not have any interest in the London Games. The 2012 Games will be about fun and creativity, something which I doubt you know much about.

    And I would quite like to know what you mean that China 'won?' Your lack of perspective, humourless, nationalistic-to-the-point-of-threatening attitutde would not fit in with 2012 Games. So best stay away eh?

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  • 26. At 4:08pm on 23 Aug 2008, adamholmgaard wrote:

    #18 tigermilkboy

    "Dear michaellou
    Tibet is a province-level autonomous region of the Peoples Rep of China. This is a huge legal difference, like saying Scotland is part of England."

    While you try pretty hard to correct a factual "error", you are actually showing your lack of geographical and political knowledge about Tibet and China.

    Why isn't Tibet part of China if it is a provincial autonomous region of PRC?

    China is the republic that has administrative control over twenty-two provinces, five autonomous regions (including Tibet), four municipalities, and two special administrative regions.

    Saying Tibet of part of China is just as much as that Scotland is part of the UK.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

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  • 27. At 4:37pm on 23 Aug 2008, katoon911 wrote:

    As a chinese who has been living in uk for the last 10 years I'm so glad to see the effort made by the chinese as a country to deliver a great olympic is being appreciated by most people, of course not amercians that is, as they are barking mad because they simply can not accept the fact that they are getting more gold medals than chinese.

    Team GB has also done great this time with 19 gold medals till today, well done!

    It is sad though I see most people supporting so called "Free Tibet" don't even know where tibet is and don't have a clue how people are living there, I'd like to ask all those people to at least visit the place once before they start waving some flags and making judgements on things they don't know about. But I guess they are not interested in really knowing the place or the people, they are only interested in simply "fighting against" one of the biggest country in the world, showing how brave they are, rather than at least trying to find out what they are supporting making any sense.

    And I do wish London can do a job which is just as great as China to be the outstanding host for the 2012 olympic.

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  • 28. At 4:40pm on 23 Aug 2008, mikelore wrote:

    To be honest, there's a massive divide in terms of perceptions of the West and China. No more is it more obvious than when I read Chinese/Western internet forums/blogs and newspapers in China and in the West.

    Anything that is done to close this divide, in my opinion, has to be applauded; well done the IOC, awarding Bejing the games was indeed visionary.

    For those that seek to divide and breed resentment on both sides - open your eyes. The areas of contention are a lot more complex than just freedom vs. evil empire, perhaps you should consider cynical reporting vs. blind nationalism.

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  • 29. At 5:01pm on 23 Aug 2008, jasonvivi wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 30. At 5:09pm on 23 Aug 2008, BeijingLondon wrote:

    To post 28

    Well said.

    A lot of people choose to ignore cultural difference and attempt to force others to accept values alien to them.

    The Tibet issue has been taken up as an attacking tool against China, regardless of trueth and facts.

    If people checked closely into history and find out who the Dalai Lama is, and what a regime he represented, they would be astonished. He led a slavary system, that valued each individual person by the weight of gold, silver, iron, wood, and stone. Senior lamas used human fat as lighting fuel etc...

    But a lot people just choose to ignore all these.

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  • 31. At 5:35pm on 23 Aug 2008, Crowperson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 5:35pm on 23 Aug 2008, heathrowexpress wrote:

    I can point to at least two factual errors in your piece:

    There are 1.3 billion mainland Chinese and the world's population stands at 6.6 billion. That means one out of every five is a Chinese.

    Ai Wei Wei is a Chinese artist who collaborated with the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron on the so-called 'Bird's Nest' Olympic stadium.

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  • 33. At 5:42pm on 23 Aug 2008, nonothing wrote:

    18. At 9:40pm on 22 Aug 2008, tigermilkboy wrote:

    Quote:5) Hate to tell you all, but China won, and all you China haters can now go crawl back where you came from. And TIBET IS STILL PART OF CHINA! Deal with it.

    Dear michaellou
    Tibet is a province-level autonomous region of the Peoples Rep of China. This is a huge legal difference, like saying Scotland is part of England.

    dear tigermilkboy,

    tibet is part of china should be better compared with Scotland is part of UK (no england).

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  • 34. At 5:53pm on 23 Aug 2008, nonothing wrote:

    31. At 5:35pm on 23 Aug 2008, Crowperson wrote:

    BeijingLondon - we ignore them because they are ridiculous. Resorting to such absurd points suggest you know you have lost the debate, as China's system isn't really that much to be proud of either.


    are they indeed ridiculous or do they only sound ridiculous? there's a huge difference.

    where do you learn things about tibet? from the media and films or the serious history experts? there's a huge difference.

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  • 35. At 6:39pm on 23 Aug 2008, gr8ron wrote:

    As a cricket lover i wish a big stadium would be built that could sit a (100000 PEOPLE) and could accomodate i cricket ground so that i will note pay £80 for a test match ticket like we at lords and the brit oval.i stadium of that magnitude would be a huge part of the london olympic legacy.

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  • 36. At 6:44pm on 23 Aug 2008, DCHeretic wrote:

    I love the Olympics and I am proud of Team USA. I would not, however, support government financing of the US Olympic team. I have always regarded the US team as special because it does not receive government financing. There are more pressing issues for the US government to pay for than the national Olympic team.

    If my fellow Americans are concerned about the financing of our team, they are welcome to make a tax-deductible donation directly to the USOC.

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  • 37. At 7:48pm on 23 Aug 2008, taobo33 wrote:

    Come on, Ditch your idea that Chines want to prove we can sports like the west! They just want to sport natually and friendly according to the rule. Enjoy the sports!

    The human rights accusation? 80% of them are pure lies and stories the media want to transfer public attention or rise their satisfaction.

    About the funds, the citizens of Beijing enjoy better public transport, enviroment and sports facility.

    Simple as that!

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  • 38. At 8:30pm on 23 Aug 2008, xxrazorsharpxx wrote:

    I wintness two weeks of unbeleibvable sporting action with passion, excitement, joy,tears,goodwill,sportsmanship and general harmony.
    And then I reasile that people are never happy with anything. Whatver said and done, China have delivered an excellent olympics. The stadiums and venues have been filled to near capacity every single time. The whole nation have been completely polite and accepting and emersed themselves into the games. Why should politics have anything to do with it??? Sports is a spectacle for a reason and for an event of such scale, why cant everyone just enjoy it for what it is and leave all the political bickering for more relevant issues.

    China have been truely tremendous. Will people in the UK show the same level of enthusiasm and passion for the games??
    The general feeling I get is one of indifference. Its complaining and more complaining about every single detail. I dont think general public can be half bothered about it. Maybe as the games approach,people will get more into it. But I dont see the games in London seeing such furour and rigrous enthusiasm.
    Apart from the organising and the infrastructure and the facilities and the athletes, it has truely been the collective spirit of the chinese people that has made these olympics special.

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  • 39. At 9:59pm on 23 Aug 2008, Crowperson wrote:

    U3805756 -

    They sound like someone from an oppressive dictatorship wanting to justify imposing that dictatorship on another country. I don't get my ideas about Tibet from media or films, for the record I am a political researcher well able to read between official lines and do the homework for myself. Not all Westerners are as conveniently ignorant about what goes on in Tibet as you think, because we have access to eyewitness accounts, Amnesty International reports, know the facts on lamaism in Tibet and so on. Sorry, but you are tangling with the wrong person.

    As a Briton I know my government has done wrong things, not least in Iraq, but I don't accuse people who criticize it of not knowing their facts. Having access to free information in the West, anyone can look up the facts without their government blocking access to such information.

    I'm more concerned people in the West are falling for the lies of your government rather than actually having the balls to question it. I enjoyed the Olympics, don't get me wrong, but I can do my own research and don't often comment unless I know the facts.

    Sorry, but I know people from China who have come west and have had their eyes opened. It is sad that you don't have the same access as we do to different opinions, but there you go...that's what's wrong with your country. If your country was making strides not only towards opening a free market but having a free press and free democracy as well, then I would applaud the efforts by the western media to build up China into a great power. But since the truth is that you as a nation have no idea what real freedom is, then unfortunately I have to say - I disagree with you. And it is sad that you can't disagree with me whilst respecting my opinion, which is what democracy is about.

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  • 40. At 10:31pm on 23 Aug 2008, DrCajetanCoelho wrote:

    Great blog Mihir da.

    For almost three weeks Beijing Oly Games have made China the one and only Centre of the world.

    All eyes are on China. Athletes, spectators, media and world leaders from across the planet have honoured the Chinese by their presence.

    The Chinese have demonstrated their capacities to organize a major world event in style. Even their medal tally keeps going up all the time. Well done China.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

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  • 41. At 00:35am on 24 Aug 2008, nonothing wrote:

    dear crowperson

    why am i "tangling with the wrong person"? only because you're a political researcher? you're a POITICAL researcher, not a history researcher, are you?

    you said "we have access to eyewitness accounts, Amnesty International reports, know the facts on lamaism in Tibet and so on."

    sadly Amnesty International doesn't even go to tibet. where do they get their facts? how ironic.

    you said "I don't often comment unless I know the facts". yet you presume i'm in china and couldn't see so called "free information". are you sure it's the fact? shall i show you my p60? how contradicted.

    then, you "have to say, disagree with" me. but for what? I merely asked two questions. what do you disagree with? how ridiculous.

    fianlly, at the end of your lengthy comment, you said you disagree with me, but, funny enough, i can't disagree with you, and, that is what democracy is about. may i ask if you really know what you're talking about? political researcher, huh? yeah, feel free to try your best to mix your politics with the olympics.

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  • 42. At 00:51am on 24 Aug 2008, levdavidovich wrote:

    "But, as President Jacques Rogge put it to me, " Why on earth would you hang around with killjoys like Rogge? - the only person on the planet who wasn't enthralled by Usain Bolt.

    "But, as President Jacques Rogge put it to me, " What is the point of saying that? You are a real-life Alan Patridge?

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  • 43. At 02:14am on 24 Aug 2008, tutu2008 wrote:

    To Crowperson

    As a Chinese, I have to say your mind is too simple, you need more travel, more experience to know the world. one point you may never understand, the concept of free press and free democracy are different in different situation.

    For some presses, the Chinese government has to ban, because it will mislead the people.

    One example when Li Hong Zhi said he has special ability to cure people's ills just with his touch, and the end of the world was 1998 but he used his ability to put it off 30 years, then millions of people follow him. When the govement stopped this, his organization spread rumors everywhere. Can the government permit this type of free press?

    For the democracy, I think China is quite free. Most of the problems related to the human rights are not just as simple as you think, there are more things behind it.

    China is a big country, the Chinese government face more problems than any others. Most of the Chinese support the government, especially the well-educated people, because they know the communist government put people first and treat its people well.

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  • 44. At 03:23am on 24 Aug 2008, taobo33 wrote:

    lol I am sorry Crowperson

    Amnesty ? The second you mentioned that organization I knew you have no idea what you are talking about, check their resource of founds will open your mind my friend.

    I seriously doubt who is the Chinese friend you know with his eyes opened because all the friends I know including myself felt exactly the different with your dear friend.
    If you tell me he managed to get UK government funds and permition to stay in the UK by claiming as an asylum then ok I think I got u. If not well my suggestion is to try to make more Chinese friend who come to UK through normal way.

    You just showed your ignorance by claiming others can't access free information, anyone with a little interests in China knows or will managed to know how to get around the fire wall by simply using prox sever. And that's back to my middle school era.(say 7-8 years ago)

    I am sorry that might shatter your view of the world but that's the truth. Please , make more friends from China=]

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  • 45. At 03:34am on 24 Aug 2008, Gary wrote:

    This entire debate makes me sad to be a human being. In the words of JL "all u need is love"

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  • 46. At 06:15am on 24 Aug 2008, perplexedguy wrote:

    The Olympics! What a wonderful event to view.At least it would be if I get to view it properly. Let me explain. All my previous viewings had been in UK, brilliant coverage, genuine experts etc all but taken for granted. This time I`m in a different country and this is how the coverage was. 2 channels each showing 4 hours a day, an advert every 8 minutes and news every hour (10 to 30 mins). Events shown are handball, volleyball,tae kwondo etc anything but athletics. My apologies-40 secs of 100m was shown! Also the `experts`had the lowest of knowledge ie I`m sure I know more than all 5 combined!.So I`m wondering if anyone else `enjoyed`a similar kind of coverage. Now I`m just left feeling `athleticly` deprived!

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  • 47. At 06:44am on 24 Aug 2008, benbenwho wrote:

    crowperson *31 :

    You've been taught a lot more than you learned at school today. Thus I just save my words to point out one thing only.

    Regarding the judging of stevenson's taekwondo match, the british team director or someone in charge ( I forget his name and title) said thank you to the Chinese for their real sportsmanship. Don't believe that?Just check yesterday's live comment of BBC website then. Why did he say that? Because if Chen Zhong( the opponent of Stevenson) and the Chinese team didn't co-operated, there would be no way to reverse the result.

    The later report of BBC simply ignored this fact at all to make the Chinese be blamed instead of being praised on this issue.

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  • 48. At 07:15am on 24 Aug 2008, Paddy Briggs wrote:

    Anyone who thinks that they saw China as a consequence of the Olympics is in cloud cuckoo land. The Athletes didn't. TV viewers didn't - even the Media didn't.

    What they saw was a fine event and superb organisation and venues. And it was classy too. What it wasn't was Chinese. It wasn't even about Beijing. The real Beijing was hidden behind screens for two weeks. And the real China, the China of oppression, of minimal freedoms, of non-existent Human Rights, of summary executions, of corruption, of slave labour...That was of limits and suspended for the duration.

    Give it a week or so and the horrors of the reality of China will return. No doubt some of the first citizens to be taken into fields to have a bullet fired into their necks will be those who offended the dictatorship by their attempts to use the Olympics to protest of profit.

    Meanwhile the people of that unmentioned Country Tibet who should have been behind their flag at the opening ceremony will be ground under the Chinese heel as usual.

    The Olympic movement should be utterly ashamed that Bejing hosted the XXIX Olympiad.

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  • 49. At 07:18am on 24 Aug 2008, davidncohen wrote:

    One thing that I think the BBC missed - they should have taken emails from viewers, asking question etc, especially with all the 'experts' in the studio. During ITV4's coverage of the Tour de France, their highlights programme every night at 7:00pm always included a slot where both commentators responded to four or five emails. It helps you find out more about the sport in question and just makes it a more inclusive experience.


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  • 50. At 08:45am on 24 Aug 2008, Robbo ACT wrote:

    Ah, yes, i couldn't agree more with this BBC journalist.... the organization was perfect, the special effects, the commitment from the government, the flag-waving crowds....why spoil these positive things with arguments about freedom of speech and democracy? What are they anyway, in this era of cultural relativism? So, let's just join the BBC in celebrating the best, most impressive Olympic Games since I guess the Berlin Games in 1936. (I'm told the facilities there were very impressive, too, not to mention the new autobahns and the beautiful hospitality girls in Bavarian costumes).

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  • 51. At 08:47am on 24 Aug 2008, RGiner wrote:

    I would like to remind everybody article 9.1:
    ' The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes, individually or teams, and not between countries'.
    Unfortunately the Olympic Games are now professional games and too much politics.
    I just look the competitions; the efforts of the athletes who have been working so hard; the tears when they not win or suffer any casualty.
    The sports who are not so well known. The real aim of the games is lost, is history ... sad very sad. Anyhow, my applause to the athletes, all of them, the real heroes of the games.

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  • 52. At 08:49am on 24 Aug 2008, RGiner wrote:

    NO politics, only sport; no flags; no trying to show that the City organizing the games is the mirror of the whole country. The official anthem is the olympic; the flag the olympic; anybody, individually is able to participate.

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  • 53. At 09:34am on 24 Aug 2008, leelau wrote:

    China is not an aggressive nation and the authoritarian regime is the necessary regime for ruling the biggest poulation in the world. The USA/Britain and Japan for example are far more aggressive than Chbina in their military history. If China had western democracy it would never be the magnificent country that it is and with the most wonderful people who are respectful, kind and put their talents to the best use. The Olympics have been brilliant because of the inherent qualities of the Chinese nation - yes, the world is jealous; especially the educated academics who will make the most noise about human rights. But in truth they are contradicting themselves -because how could such a so called 'repressive regime' produce so much beauty and such a great welcome to the rest of the world? The British team did well and I do believe the British can learn a lot from the Chinese as Britain is in great need of a lot more order and 'push'. The class system in Britain has made every sport unaccessible for most of the poorest kids in Britain - call that a democracy? They have done very well in this Olympics and long may it continue - most sports people rise above petty nastiness and the true human connection shows through sport.

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  • 54. At 09:54am on 24 Aug 2008, sfrose wrote:

    First of all, BBC should post the comments from newest to oldest instead of having to plow thru the oldest always to read the latest comment. Hello? Second, I wonder if the irony is lost that -- after the "Handover" when the UK had to return HONG KONG to its rightful owner -- now China will "handover" the 2012 Olympics to the UK? I still remember Chris Patton stating with a straight face that he hoped the Chinese military would not march into HK... while in the split-screen it showed the UK Military exiting onto UK ships... Racism is so blind.

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  • 55. At 10:02am on 24 Aug 2008, paddy3118 wrote:

    China will always be "The Jamaican games", and "The GB games" for me. Having Jamaican parents but being English I had the best games ever - and all untarnished by drugs cheats in these teams.

    More Rum!


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  • 56. At 10:09am on 24 Aug 2008, fairreport wrote:

    Mihir Bose, you will completely agree the West should not keep China down if you are still living in Africa.

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  • 57. At 10:12am on 24 Aug 2008, marion24 wrote:

    Don't think that the Olympics have only been a learning experience for the West; China has learnt much about how it wants to the perceived by the rest of the world!

    People might say that the IOC made a poor decision giving the Olympics to China; but the IOC isn't a political institution. That is the factor that ultimately counts for anything.

    China has hosted these Olympics well, demonstrating some seriously efficient organization and providing some top-notch facilities. Who knew they could easily mobilize thousands of volunteers and construct an entirely new section of the metro within four years? The IOC has given China the games, and China has used the event as an opportunity to show the world who they are as a nation.

    Much of the human-rights issues in China needs to be improved upon, but it shouldn't be allowed to overshadow the games itself. Afterall, China didn't use the games to advocate their government system and impose their beliefs on the global community. The important thing to know is that change is happening in China, albeit at a slow pace and on their own terms.

    I wish the 2012 London Olympics the best of luck, and I look forward to see what the city has to offer!

    PS: Being ethnically Chinese but raised in 'the West' makes it very painful for me to read comments that lean towards either extreme (anti-China or pro-China)....because it's evident that both sides are right and wrong at the same time.

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  • 58. At 10:54am on 24 Aug 2008, AMWBen wrote:

    Since when a nations prosperity and wealth building, nation building, future and government legitimacy depended on holding an Olympic games?

    Even if the Olympic did not proceeded and was canceled from western governments head non attendance, China and Chinese would no just disappeared from the face of the earth.

    Throughout china's history it has undergone changes after changes from good to bad emperors and bad to good emperors, and rulers. Trried many forms and different governing systems. Its last major upheaval during the cultural revolution cost over 20 million people lives.
    That was only 50 yrs ao. That is almost half of UK's population.

    And after 30 yrs since 1979 when it has decided on a new course of systems the country has been able to lift 400 million people out of the poverty.

    Every achievement will be faced with sacrifices and consequences along the way. That is the law of nature, not only china. What is the right way? Western nation tend to imposed themselves and their ideas as the 'right' way and the only way. Western democracy is not perfect and i do agree in the long run western deorcay is probably the best way but best depend on many factors. And one observation may i emphasize is stages of development:

    When a child commits a crime in the west the law protects the child criminal because its underage and an underage person is not the same as with a matured minded person. Its sentence is about reforming and education and engagement so the child may re-enter society and continue to contribute and part of the common population.

    China though has 5000 yrs of history. It has plenty of baggages, failures and faults but it is just only within the last 30 yrs coming into the modern times.

    As with a young child we must continue to engage and support and motivate so it will be part of the worlds population.

    A young adult will only rebel and destructive when parents pick on every single things their children or child do or does.

    And when the child has been educated with the right tools (education, exposures to other side of the fence through travels, engagement with people and through people) It will rise and form new systems in their own country under their own terms. And perhaps a new governing systems that represent their own choices.

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  • 59. At 10:58am on 24 Aug 2008, mjerryford wrote:

    Putting politics aside, Beijing olympics has been the greatest I've ever seen. Phelps winning 8 golds in swimming, Bolt winning 3 track golds with those world records, China beating USA on the medal table for the first time, and last but not least, UK team achieved the best results in the games in a century, finishing fourth at medal table.

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  • 60. At 11:12am on 24 Aug 2008, icegillan wrote:

    You really can't fault the Chinese, they did what they said they would, put on a great games, nobody can find fault in that fact, they did exactly what we should do, they kept politics out of the olympics, our medal haul was superb, especially topping the Aussies(nice excuse for a pint!), now it's our turn, with the budget capped(until the election manifesto's are published)and the UK obsession with celebrity leading the way then 2012 is not an olympic games I for one are not looking forward to.

    Embarrassing is the only word that is appropriate for 2012.

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  • 61. At 11:19am on 24 Aug 2008, zzz1982 wrote:

    To Censura: Tibet, human rights, pollution are China's problem. But western medias always magnify them. As a Chinese living in China for 18 years, and in NZ for 8 years, I don't really notice the my life in China is under suppression. People living live in China just the same as people living in GB.

    I was brought up in big cities in China, what I can say is the city infrastructures and modernization there are same and sometimes even better than the cities in western countries, especially in public transports.

    In countries, there are poor people, but that's same for all developing countries and China definitely doing better in fighting poverty than a lot of democracy third-world countries (i.e. India).

    Western people always question why Chinese going overseas? the answser is very easy. They can earn more money and life is easier because of less competitions (China got 1,300,000,000 people where Britain is a fraction)

    I think China did a good job in Olympic, Chinese people quite enjoy it.

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  • 62. At 11:21am on 24 Aug 2008, saga mix wrote:

    Great games ... and totally appropriate for China to host.

    Not a perfect nation (which is?) but a great one. China will only get more powerful and it's crucial that they are embraced and not isolated.

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  • 63. At 11:28am on 24 Aug 2008, chunfai888 wrote:

    This is not only a wise person speaking of common knowledge that "BAD LEADERS RUIN DEMONCRACY": The HYPOCRYCIES of the westerners WHO constantly talking down on the rest of the world, has brought on more mistrust and at time hatred of nations who are less able to speak out for themselves.
    China and her people has been suffered through much abuses and prejudice; albeit all these experiences of being treated as lower class of the human race. The chinese people has only one wish for the people of the world: Respect others and you will be respected. This is the teaching of CONFUCIUS.
    It is now time that the leaders of the "DEMONCRATIC NATIONS" act decisively in educating her people about the true Meaning of DEMONCRACY.

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  • 64. At 11:37am on 24 Aug 2008, chunfai888 wrote:

    Great news to the world that China has proved herself worthy of a place in the modern world; to be recognised as a people who has contributed towards harmonisation of people of the world to enjoy " one world , one dream ".
    Three cheers to Olympic 2008.
    Three cheers to all the people of world, let us be united irrespective of politic and any other idealogical differences.

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  • 65. At 11:43am on 24 Aug 2008, Inherent wrote:

    The beijing games are now finished but will the people that got their homes demolished be re-membered ;I doubt it.I've heard of blood diamonds so is this BLOOD GOLD

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  • 66. At 11:48am on 24 Aug 2008, AnakASEAN wrote:

    Thank YOU BBC, great commentaries all around, have truly enjoyed it. With advance of modern tech, multiscreen interactive via BBC site-EXCELLENT...JUSTIFIED THE tv licence fee
    Can you PLEASE get your facts right, especially the opening commentaries, goodness me, commenting about countries e.g MALAYSIA to quote '' the chinese favourite polictical figure is Lee Kuan Yew'' This is as bad as saying the English favoutie Prime minister in our time is Francois Miterrand.
    Otherwise lets look forward to LONDON 2012,

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  • 67. At 12:31pm on 24 Aug 2008, Crowperson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 68. At 12:31pm on 24 Aug 2008, Inherent wrote:

    as usual the post-mortem starts after a games that saw cycling and the water events holding team G.B.'s hand but the usual anti-climax from the track and field after there bullish claims so what for 2012 with less available is it at the top level that has no clue?

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  • 69. At 12:33pm on 24 Aug 2008, freenumbersix wrote:

    About Chunfai888's comment...

    I wonder that the misspelling of "democracy" is intentional (in fact I hope so), but I doubt it. This person prefers to present a status quo opinion about a controversial government. While I share their hostile view of Western governments and institutions, they sound more like a German defending the Berlin games of 1936. What would Confucious say about the "respect" the Chines government has given to the Taiwanese, Uighurs, and Tibetans, to say nothing of the contrast with their respect for, say, Sudan? Chunfai888, you are justified in your pride but misplaced in your blind nationalism.

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  • 70. At 12:44pm on 24 Aug 2008, leafemma wrote:

    Nice to see all the comments above, made me a little excited after all these days. Since 7 years ago that the IOC gave the chance to China, all the Chinese people have thought that was to fullfil a 'dream' of Olympics, a game with all the people from the world. That was exactly what presented in the opening ceremony by an old Chinese saying,'I am so delighted that friends come to see me from far around'. During this 7 years, numerous of Chinese people have worked hard to make the dream fantanstic,from up to the government down to a single little 7-year-old baby. Which was the most impressive part of opening ceremony in the heart of Chinese people? One is the national flag rise, another was the torch lightening moment that the athelete Lining run for a long distance to light the main torch. These two moments showed the world whether there are misleadings (of free Tibet) or earthquake disasters, Chinese people will work all the way to overcome the hardship and give a joyable game to the world.

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  • 71. At 12:45pm on 24 Aug 2008, Metal-micky wrote:

    When will the BBC commentators stop treating people who have, proved good enough, to go to the Olympics like losers if they do not get a medal.
    Comments like "failed" when finishing 4th in the final - this is the 4th best contestant in that event. If a competitor reaches the final of an event they have prove d that they are in the top 8.
    ALL competitors who got to the games should be congratulated and encouraged, not put down.

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  • 72. At 12:51pm on 24 Aug 2008, wangfrancis18 wrote:

    the followings make me impressive in the olympic except wonderful matches
    1.USA 's team falg bearer in opening ceremony is one from sudan Dafur, USA want to show their support of "free darfur" and accuse of sudan government, this is was reported widely in western media,

    compared, seeminly no western medial care about iraq team's condition, Iraq player put on very old sport clothes and even broken shoes in exercise, just before their match , the chinese know it and provide the new one to them, which make me feel sad and heart-broken, frankly I never see any western media care about them, why so different?

    2. the taekwondao match, the UK player said the judge is unfair in competition with chinese palyer ,and complaint, and then it was changed after chinese team accept it which is the first time in its histroy. dId bbc report chinese fairflay spirit except the unfair treatment to english player.

    in man marathon swimming, when chinese volunteer ask the silver medal player of UK to attend medal ceremony, other two player was waiting him, while the man was happpy with interviewing with media ,he felf angry for interrupt and then pour a botte of water to the volunteer,there is no apology for the action, any report in BBC?

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  • 73. At 1:51pm on 24 Aug 2008, shermansteve wrote:

    If you take everything into account, like population, GDP, human rights, the Olympics medal table and the US's version, USA finish 16th and China finish 17th with the first 3 nations being Australia 1st, Jamaica 2nd and GB 3rd.

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  • 74. At 1:56pm on 24 Aug 2008, leafemma wrote:

    In the way of the hosting the game, Chinese people also acknowledged that there are many conflicts between west and China.Maybe the most issue is about Tibet and human rights. Just like someone mentioned above, Tibet is just as much as Scotland and Northern Ireland to UK as that to China,that is to say,the family issue of China, or an issue that should be solved by Chinese. And Chinese people cannot stand it if the issue is raised for the political benefit of certain countries like US. I hope those people rise the flag of Free Tibet at least after they went there once. China is more open to the world,definitely.People know things inside and outside,by internet,by overseas friends,by other sources,even sometimes blocked, but find a proxy to see outside is not a big deal.
    As for the human right, we can not say it is good or satisfactory enough in the eyes of west. But I can confirm you the improvement of it these years and government's intention to improve it.
    Before people anti-China, I often remind them to keep in mind one point-1.3billiion people in that country-health,economy,sports,medical condition,education,human rights and at last the solutions when they hold different views and conflict with each other. The base of 1.3 billion made these problems much harder.
    Olympics is a good chance for China to know more about the world as well as the world knows about China. One truth is that Chinese people never present aggression to the world.
    I am now working in a British company in China and have many friends in Britain and I am so looking forward to the games in London in 2012, which may certainly give us a quite different view of the game.
    One more point, Chinese people are still quite annoyed by the act of David Davies, who splash a bottle of water to a female volunteer.We hope apology can be made.

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  • 75. At 2:23pm on 24 Aug 2008, shermansteve wrote:

    I'd have done the same a Davis. He'd just got off a stretchure after collapsing after the race then this woman keeps trying to pull him away while he's talking to the media. You can see that he asks her to stop, but she just carries on. Surely that would annoy anyone. All he did after all was splash a little water over her, which I think showed quite a bit of restraint. Stop trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. It was nothing.

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  • 76. At 2:26pm on 24 Aug 2008, shermansteve wrote:

    2. the taekwondao match, the UK player said the judge is unfair in competition with chinese palyer ,and complaint, and then it was changed after chinese team accept it which is the first time in its histroy. dId bbc report chinese fairflay spirit except the unfair treatment to english player.


    Maybe the BBC should have said something about this fair play, but things like this should never happen at a worldwide event like the Olympics. The judges should all be proficient enough to do the job well. The same happened in the boxing, some of the judging wazs diabolical, people making 100% obvious clean hits but not getting the points. For me this is not at all good enough.

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  • 77. At 3:18pm on 24 Aug 2008, leafemma wrote:

    75. At 2:23pm on 24 Aug 2008, shermansteve wrote:
    I'd have done the same a Davis. He'd just got off a stretchure after collapsing after the race then this woman keeps trying to pull him away while he's talking to the media.

    Before you said 'keeps trying to pull him away' and 'a little water' to a volunteer who was not paid for her work and you think that is 'restraint'. I suggest you try to see the video of the situation rather than believe what you read on the media. After that if you think it is nothing, there is no other words worth saying.

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  • 78. At 3:33pm on 24 Aug 2008, benbenwho wrote:


    Well we are all aware that you're proud of being British( maybe English only later on) and in a democratic society.

    But I am also fed up with people metion it when they have no point to argue ( or to discuss) with us Chinese. It's indeed our weakness, nevertheless don't use it all the time to make a pale point.

    Do you admit that South Korea and Japan are democratic countries? Very few Korean and Japanese would critise the event that much which makes them proud just like the Chinese . That's cultural differece between the East Asian countries and the west, and nothing about democracy.

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  • 79. At 3:41pm on 24 Aug 2008, atogon wrote:

    The Chinese medal haul is a little too impressive to be credible
    mmmm I can tell that you're Jealous of china’s success, most of your speech isn’t about politics it’s about envy and hate.

    YOU said it you're self about the racist PM I know it hurts when you proclaim you’re self to be great (GB) and perform less than great china 1 america2 GB 4 it’s ok we understand, sub all you want we know it hurts sorry

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  • 80. At 3:56pm on 24 Aug 2008, jayelle5 wrote:

    Actually, Mihir, the Beijing olympics isn't likely to have any impact on the U.S. because by tomorrow it will be forgotten. There won't be any national handwringing over the medals table, as you and others seem to believe, because people just don't care that much about it. The discussion of using public money has come up in the past, particularly after what was considered to be a rather weak showing in the 1980 Lake Placid Winter games (yes, I'm old enough to remember it). Nothing came of it then, and nothing will come of it now. The U.S. public cares about the Olympics for exactly two weeks every four years. With the political season kicking into high gear, football season getting started, etc., the public here won't be thinking about the summer games again until 2012.

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  • 81. At 4:19pm on 24 Aug 2008, topomalvado wrote:

    I agree that this was an interesting spectacle. Even mesmerising at times.

    I'm going to stay away from the human rights debate, because it's been done ad nauseum. What is slightly worrying is to see a handover to London that looked like it was conceived by the two square bank managers in a punt from the Natwest TV ad.

    Worst among the ludicrous scene, chosen above the British icons excelling all week, the face of repeated failue in a sport in which GB doesn't even compete. And a pop idol. All (questionable) style over substance. It doesn't bode well.

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  • 82. At 4:33pm on 24 Aug 2008, PACSYIP wrote:

    The Beijing Olympics were the best in recent history. I am afraid I don't think London 2012 can match that opening and closing ceremonies. The Chinese government and organisations don't have to worry about the budget, because to be honest they have no limit at all. They can raise money easily without any doubt. They have got lots of sponsour all over the country and also the chinese communities around the world to support this olympics. If they want money, then all the rich billioanires give money to the government. Will all the rich billionaires do the same to our London 2012? I don't think so, becasue we are far less as enthusastic as than the chinese about the olympics. I don't understand why people in this country don't want to have the olympics games, I just don't understand, we are such a single narrow minded people. The Olympics games are to show the world how powerful our country is, the culture and wealth. If we want to compete with the chinese, american and russian, we have to show them our power, otherwise we will fall behind them.

    When you compare the Beijing and the Sydney games, you can spot the differences. The opening ceremony of this olympics were far better than any other games. Noone could match that. The Chinese have the brain to create the most sophisticated sequences and they want show the whole world they have the power to do anything. I can feel the power that they showed when i watched the opeing ceremony. It was stunning, even the closing ceremony was far far better than the Syndey and of course the Athen games.

    If we can raise twice the amount of the Beijing games, we are very lucky. I doubt we can raise more than 15 billion pounds to hold the game in 2012, unless we have lots of support from top companies in the UK, because at the moment we only have 9.5 billions pounds in our pocket, not good enough to hold the games, not even good enough to have a stunning opening ceremony.

    I can understand why Boris Johnson said we would not be intimated and I can assure you that he will do anything to match the Beijing game, even better than that, because I can see it in his eyes, he will show the world London can hold big event under his belt. He's got the brain to do it and he's got some cunning ideas as well.

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  • 83. At 4:37pm on 24 Aug 2008, judymac wrote:

    "Most of the West's wealth has come from plundered wealth, enslavement and the genocide of native populations, not to mention extensive wasting of the world natural resources and China has as much right to turn round and demand reparations for the damage Western countries have done to the world as the West does to demand the cessation of similar abuses in China. "

    Yes! I agree with you by heart. History speaks itself. After living in Europe and US for years, I finally come to the conclusion that while I was in college, I was naive and brainwashed by my Pro-West governments and the West media: I was a Democracy activist as those idiots and traitors in Tiananmen Square. Democracy, Christianity, and human rights are nothing but the West's civilized aggression statics--because of their wealth--(as opposed to the their past barbarian acts to other human race) to split unit and to dominate. Chaos and poverty in Africa, Middle-East, India, Pakistan, Korean and Taiwan are typical examples.

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  • 84. At 5:21pm on 24 Aug 2008, Richardalex wrote:

    China smiled to the World and the World smiled upon China!
    It was a fantastic Olympics from start to finish, It was marvellous to see the world's top athletes take full advantage of the superb facilities and produce some brilliant performances. It was an Olympics that will be remembered forever, the opening and closing ceremonies were just awesome, but apart from the exploits of the athletes what came across was the friendliness and community pride of the Chinese people.
    I just wish the BBC had included some Chinese commentators on their teams so we could have listened to their perspectives on the events. We had to listen to Michael Johnson's American views so why not a Chinese athlete? I thought it a bit sour from the BBC seeing how well they had been treated by their hosts.

    Thanks to the athletes and thanks to China.

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  • 85. At 5:28pm on 24 Aug 2008, maloutrel wrote:

    I hope the USA government NEVER EVER EVER subsidizes Olympic athletes or athletics. Can you just imagine the chaos of administering who gets how much when, where and for what phase/level of athletic development? Can you imagine each of the fifty states each continually clamoring me me me now now now? Can you imagine institutionalizing and funding the concept that public money makes olympic athletes?

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  • 86. At 10:03pm on 24 Aug 2008, Spinozin wrote:

    The spectacular showmanship and athletic excellence demonstrated by China has warmed the heart of the world. Shame that the 'impartial' BBC made political capital at every opportunity. You should have left power politics at home. Thanks to China's historic Olympic's, the World is now looking to GB to deliver the Olympic spirit once again. I am dissapointed at the BCC's coverage and daily highlights programme which hardly celebrated the gold winners, but focused too much on GB success. Let our youngsters see the best, understand the effort and discipline required to achieve gold, and be motivated by a common spirit inherent in all of mankind. However, I must award full points as always to the BBC's editing team for creating world class VT (highlight reels). A deserved Gold me thinks.

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  • 87. At 10:19pm on 24 Aug 2008, mullerman wrote:

    The Chinese plunder the wealth of their people, having a massive population, 100,000 construction workers for these games buildings!
    Any chance of some 'Mihirs' representing GB in 2012? All those white faced medal winners must be a real headache for the BBC, is anything being done to redress the balance?

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  • 88. At 04:43am on 25 Aug 2008, wangfrancis18 wrote:

    anyone can comment on following?

    USA 's team falg bearer in opening ceremony is one from sudan Dafur, USA want to show their support of "free darfur" and accuse of sudan government, this is was reported widely in western media,

    compared, seeminly no western medial care about iraq team's condition, Iraq player put on very old sport clothes and even broken shoes in exercise, just before their match , the chinese know it and provide the new one to them, which make me feel sad and heart-broken, frankly I never see any western media care about them, why so different?

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