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David Bode looks at Olympic Changes
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15:27, August 04, 2008

David Bode
Louisiana, United States

The 2008 Olympic Games has definitely been, for David, a motivation to come to Beijing in February 2008. Back home, he would not follow the Games very closely, but since arriving in Beijing, he has become inspired by the excitement and how the city has been transformed. "My good buddy and I, from this time on, are going to go to every Olympics until we die." For this year's Games, also the first Olympics he will attend, he has tickets to 8 events: rowing, boxing, handball, softball, kayaking, baseball, athletics, and field hockey.

David Bode, Louisiana, United States

David is most looking forward to the events in the Bird's Nest (National Stadium). He watched one athletics event at the Good Luck Beijing Games in May, and will return for another this month. He would like to see China win the gold in athletics events, especially Liu Xiang, China's champion hurdler. He also hopes China will score well in diving in the Water Cube (National Aquatics Center). "The CCTV Tower, Bird's Nest and Water Cube are amazing," David says.

David has only been here for 6 months, but he has certainly witnessed his share of change since his arrival in February. His favorite aspect of the changes take place in preparation for the Olympic Games in Beijing is the opening of Line 10, which conveniently runs nearby his apartment. "This is a permanent change that will have an impact on people's lives after the Olympics are over." He also notices that there is less traffic on the roads. Meanwhile, he says that many local bars and restaurants will be closing for the Games; and this will make it difficult to show his friends and family "my daily life in Beijing." He recognizes the clean-up as a good change for Beijing, but believes that Beijing has lost some of its authenticity in its preparation for the Games. "China is showing off what it thinks Westerners want to see."

As an American affected by Hurricane Katrina, David has been following changes at home since August 29, 2005. What he finds incredible is the sharp contrast in changes taking place at home and in Beijing. Just after being here in Beijing for 4 months, David had to return home due to issues with his visa. He said he was surprised to see how little had changed in New Orleans. When he returned to Beijing after a 3-week visit, he recalls seeing how much progress had been made in the construction of the CCTV Tower. "It's incredible to see how much had changed in Beijing versus how little had changed in New Orleans."

By Agatha So, People's Daily Online

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