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Olympic Games: Most glorious, most moving
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16:27, August 18, 2008

When people in the future recall and talk about the current Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, two gleaming names are bound to be on their lips: Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. The American "big boy" wunderkind Phelps, 23, became the winner of eight Olympic medals at the bubble-shaped Water Cube, hit an historical record which will be very hard for latecomers to shake or break. A day earlier, a Jamaican "naughty boy" sprinter Usain Bolt, 21, set a new world record at 9.72 seconds in the 100m event. Astonishingly he eased up towards the end, and he is likely to chalk up another new record to be less than 9.7 second 100 meter times.

So, they represent the glory of both the Olympic Games and Beijing Games indisputably. We, of course, will remember the countries they come from, and we will remember that they represent us, you and me alike, and that they are pursuing the lofty dream on behalf of the entire humanity. This has been testified by thunderous, deafening hails and cheers by spectators or viewers of the host nation on the Olympic arenas.

What particularly attracting and conspicuous at each Olympic Games are usually gold medalists, and there is nothing wrong or inappropriate to say so. Not gold, silver or bronze medals were used at ancient Olympics held in the era of ancient Greece, when the champion was merely given a branch of laurel and a diploma or greeted at a heroic ceremony of triumph. Gold medalists have always been the focus of the glory for the Olympics, and the gleaning golden figures have been turned into the landmark figures of each Games.

Games have brought the glory to the humanity. Owing to this reason, its stamina limits have not only been extended incessantly and repeatedly, and human imagination and creation in science, medicine, architecture and literature and art also been energized. The "Shark swimsuit", the "simulated cabin training" and other high-tech attainments have helped to hoist the "wings" of athletes.

Meanwhile, such unique architectures with fantastic shapes as the "Bird's Nest" and the "Water Cube" now overwhelm constructions of a conservative type in the ancient capital of Beijing. Moreover, some healthcare goods and training methods developed by athletes have been put to wide use in recuperation and medial spheres. And a lot of art and literary works based on the Games have run apace like wildfire. Furthermore, a diversity of opening ceremonies of hosting cities seem to vie with one another for fascination and present to the world with the most visual effect.

The most moving details of the Olympics, however, are evidenced everywhere. A scene of this kind emerged in the Water Cube on August 15th, or last Friday. Germany's Britta Steffen finished 0.04 seconds ahead of the world record holder Libby Trickett of Australia, and won the 100m free style event. But when she reached the finishing line, she was so nervous that she did not dare to see her scores. Trickett kept smiling to her till she turned round, and then hugged her. The smiles and hug of Trickett are natural, heartfelt and very touching.

There is also such a very moving scene at the weightlifting arena. Chinese athlete Liao Hui won the men's 69 kg division by 10 kg over Frenchman Vencelas Dabaya-Tientcheu who took silver in weightlifting 58 Group A competition of Beijing Games. When Tientcheu was facing the last attempt for 69 kg, his coach urged him for a try. He mulled it over carefully when all eyes fixed on him, and he finally shook his head and gave up. Then, without a slightest hesitation and a sign of disappoint, his coach run to him with an excitement, cheered and held him up as if greeting the "victor who returned in triumph".

Furthermore, two female athletes from Russia and Georgia shared hug and kiss on the podium after winning silver and bronze medals in pistol event on August 11 or last Monday, and this image of theirs was also very moving indeed. They embraced on the podium in a sign of unity, putting aside the conflict that has erupted between the two countries. In case of Chinese shooter Du Li, she would win the first gold medal on offer at the Olympics for her motherland, but caved in under pressure and failed. Thanks to the ensuing comfort and encouragement from her spectators and volunteers, she plucked up courage nevertheless, and eventually reaped the gold medal in women's 50-metre rifle on august 14, or last Thursday.

Olympics have enabled the most promising people the world over to get together and share the glory of the Games and, even they fail, they hold themselves in self-esteem and respect one another all the same. So there is truly a great compassion, a tacit understanding and an even still better comprehension among the athletes and, to compare with such mutual understanding, gold medals would turn faint or tarnish and pale into insignificance.

By People's Daily Online and its author is PD reporter Li Hongbin

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1 China 35 13 13 61
2 USA 19 21 25 65
3 Australia 11 10 12 33
4 Great Britain 11 7 8 26
5 Germany 9 6 7 22
6 South Korea 8 9 5 22

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