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Olympics open up window for better communication
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18:12, July 30, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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Once upon a time, our brilliant ancestors learned to cut a hole into the walls of their dwellings for light and ventilation, and that hole later evolved into today's window. In this modern era, however, it remains paradoxical that even when modern people possess windows in all sizes and shapes, they have no idea how to use them to their advantage. Take Chinese people, when locked up behind a window and cut off from the outside world in those days, they were totally blind to what was going on outside. Likewise, people outside also wondered what a life of complete isolation would be like.

The Beijing Olympic Games will be held in a little over a week. The Games will definitely act as a window through which people staying at home and coming from outside can exchange glances in a free and friendly manner. There is no need to peep into each other's realms, as the new window encourages people from different backgrounds to meet halfway through direct communications.

The Olympic Games is, without any doubt, a perfect showcase for mutual communication and understanding; and the Olympic spirit—peace, friendship and progress— refined over time and various trials, is the distillation of human civilization. To achieve this lofty goal, people will have to enhance mutual communication and seek the common Olympic dream.

It is evident that any mature host would like to open itself to criticism from its guests, and any constructive criticism would only help the host improve. It is also well-documented in Olympic history that any din or noise, loud as it is, has no reason to disrupt the Games, as the Olympic spirit will eventually survive and foil any fault-finding attempts. That is why the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee has decided to initiate communication by granting freedom to the media.

China does not only open up to the outside world only for the sake of Olympics, but also for long-term communication with others. A giant country feeding 1/5 of the world's population will always give a warm welcome to all those who offer to take off their tinted glasses and look at it objectively.

Recently some people with ulterior motives have been attempting to even vilify China by fabricating stories. They say, for example, the Chinese volunteers are forced into their positions; and it is mandatory for injured Chinese athletes to take part in competitions. Mud is mud, as the old saying goes; and what actually happens here will likely reveal these sheer lies and tricks.

"One world, one dream" not only brings out the aspirations of the Chinese people, but is the competitive atmosphere sought after by all peace-loving people the world over.

John Stephen Akhwari was an Olympic athlete in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. He represented Tanzania in the marathon. During the race he fell, badly cutting his knee and dislocating the joint. Rather than quitting, he continued to run. He finished last among 74 competitors. When asked why he continued to run, he simply said, "My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish." Akhwari competed for ten years after the 1968 Olympics. Recently, he appeared in Beijing as a goodwill ambassador in preparation for the 2008 Games.

To be frank, the gap created by ideological disparities and cultural differences persists, can at times block communication, and cause misunderstandings, clashes or even confrontations. Now that the upcoming Games have opened up a new green channel for communication, people all over the world ought to take this opportunity to reach out to learn more about each other. In so doing, the clouds of doubt and suspicion hovering over people's minds are likely to dissipate.

By People's Daily Online

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