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Posts Tagged ‘shanghai’

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.

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Bob is delighted to be writing the Beijing Olympics Blog from China; admittedly not Beijing, but one step at a time. Unfortunately getting here has meant that it’s been a quiet time on the blog recently just the media has been full of enough Olympic news to satisfy the most eager observe. Bob would like to share responsibility for the lack of posts with KLM who run a very relaxed corporate policy towards punctuality, and the Chinese government who have an equally vigilant policy of internet censorship.

Beijing Olympic Volunteers in Shanghai

Beijing Olympic Volunteers in Shanghai

You may notice a difference in the coverage of the Beijing Olympics Blog as Bob hopes to provide a more personal experience of the Olympics, as the mainstream press are sure to be full of any and every Beijing story going.

Bob was pleased to be greeted at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport by a host of young and eager volunteers sitting underneath a Beijing 2008 banner and wearing matching uniforms.

“Do you have information about the Olympics?”

“No, sorry.”

“Oh, do you have information about the Olympic football in Shanghai?”

“No, we just have information about Shanghai.”

“Or how to get to Beijing from Shanghai?”

“No, just Shanghai.”

Still, they did have lots of information about Shanghai!

For the record, although a lot of news coverage appears to have been given to the government’s relaxation of censorship on parts of the web – including the BBC, certain Amnesty sites and content about the 1989 Tian’anmen Square incident – they have not unblocked WordPress. This will probably be enough to appease the IOC who had demanded that the Great Firewall of China be lowered for the Games. This has made accessing and updating the Beijing Olympics Blog quite difficult, and of course it is extremely frustrating that hardly anyone in the mainland will be able to read it. The next update will come as soon as possible, all things considered J

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