The Beijing Paralympics wrapped up yesterday with yet another spectacular ceremony at the wonderful Bird’s Nest stadium giving delirious athletes a chance to say goodbye after an extremely successful Games. Sounds like a similar story to four weeks ago when the Olympics ended on a high – we were even treated to another show of gormless flag waving from an open-suited Mayor of London.
Unfortunately Bob has been awol for the last three weeks and has not been able to continue regular blogging throughout the Paralympics, and this is not an attempt to brush it under the carpet as ‘similar to the Olympics’; reviews of the Paralympics will follow. Bob has been keeping up with the news from Beijing, but upon returning to work in London has suffered from excess of work and shortage of post-Beijing motivation, both of which have stifled blogging.
As the Paralympic athletes return to their respective homes there do seem to be a number of parallels with the Olympics:
- The organisers will be breathing a sigh of relief after another almost trouble-free event. They have been widely congratulated by athletes, officials and observers alike (and are not afraid of exhibiting this in the Chinese media)
- The ceremonies have been grand and spectacular
- The volunteers have been lauded and celebrated for their enthusiasm and sheer number
- China have topped the medal table
- The British team are celebrating an extraordinary performance (although the athletics has been a disappointment)
- Questions are being asked about how London will measure up to Beijing
- Despite fantastic organisation, comments have been made about Beijing’s lack of atmosphere and ‘fun’
Over the next two weeks Bob will discuss the Paralympics, the aftermath of both events in Beijing 2008, the implications for China, and the lessons for London in 2012. Then the Beijing Olympics Blog will be wrapped up for good, and some new chapters will be opened.