The 2008 Olympics will end on Sunday 24th August (with the 08 Olympic football final on Saturday) and there’s been lots to talk about this time around, from the politics to the environment to the questions about age to the outstanding performances and the odd funny moments.
What will you remember most about Beijing 2008?
Here’s my top 4:
4. An Obsession With Heroes
Hundreds and thousands of athletes went to the Olympics, yet the most talked about Olympian (by far) is Michael Phelps. History remembers the winners, we adore them and elevate them to near-immortal status and Phelps was the big one this time around.
3. The Politics
To everyone who has voiced concern about China’s human rights policy, I’d say this – don’t expect a society to evolve at a pace faster than your own. You have the right to criticise whomever you want but you also have the responsibility to think for yourself – ask yourself how long it took the United States to give voting rights to women and then ask yourself if you expect China to leap 300 years forward in the space of just 1 day or even 50 years. It’s not possible. Give it time and learn to accept that people and societies evolve at their own pace. Those that don’t, perish.
2. The Smog
Or how the issue, along with the politics, disappeared once the Olympics actually started and the TV and newspapers sold the glamour and glory and pushed the controversies to the back burner.
1. The Racism
Or lack thereof. Unfortunately we live in an anally-restrictive politically correct world where calling someone black is considered wrong and making the now infamous ‘slit-eyed’ gesture (slit-eyed – now that’s a demeaning word, isn’t it?) is considered grounds for being branded racist and uncivilised.
And here I was thinking that the Olympics promoted tolerance and multicultural diversity – because with that comes an acceptance that other societies have different standards and the ‘right thing’ is relative to what you believe in, not necessarily an absolute truth.
Guess they don’t tell you that when they’re airing commercials for the Olympics, eh?
Please share your most memorable moments from the 2008 Olympics in the comments, and my apologies if this was completely non-football or non-Olympian – I was never into the Olympics for the sports anyway.
Bonus Link: 50 Hottest Olympians of Beijing 2008