Finally the day has come and everybody – with the possible exception of those who have chosen to time such an auspicious date with wedding/child birth – is gearing up for the main event; the Opening Ceremony.
All over Shanghai people have been working half-days, leaving work early to prepare for the evening’s festivities. Bars and clubs have been promoting their venues in anticipation of a big turn out, and lost of people are hosting their own ‘Opening Ceremony Parties’. Mario & Sonic at the Olympics on the Nintendo Wii seems to be a popular themed warm up entertainment.
It’s sure to be a spectacular show (with or without Steven Spielberg!). There is keen anticipation in the air combined with a slight sense of nervousness; the run up to the Games has been slightly fraught and it seems almost inevitable that someone would target the main event tonight. It would be a great shame if it were spoiled. But an even greater shame would be for the security to count any protest were to overshadow the entire event!
People attending the Olympic qualifying football matches last night were made to wait an hour to enter the stadium because of the high level of security. It is possible that such controls will kill all spirit and atmosphere in Beijing.
What’s more, if there should be a protest, surely most people would like to know, rather than for the whole event to be shrouded in suspicion and cynicism.
Bob has not heard estimates on the anticipated viewing figures but this will surely be one of the biggest TV events going. Every Chinese New Year it is part of the modern tradition in China for families to gather round and watch the special variety show – young and old, it seems that is just what people do. So much has been made of the Olympics nationally that the broadcasting of the Opening Ceremony may well bring people together in a similar way. Who knows how much those advertising spaces are worth!?
Fingers crossed for a spectacular show, and no sour taste afterwards.