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Beijing sets off on a new journey
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16:31, August 26, 2008

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Beijing's 2008 summer Olympics came to a spectacular close. The landmark, "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, like a very thick book, has closed with 16 glorious days of splendid Games. In this book, China has erected a performing or theatrical stage for human glory and dream with its immense zeal and greatest effort...

The Games will be remembered with the splendid opening and closing ceremonies, undulating processes of Games, the widest and most extensive participation and acute competitions. The whole globe has been amazed by breaking 38 world records and 85 Olympic records, and a record 87 nations won medals during the Games.

As far as the realm of sports is concerned, the Beijing Games would be recorded into the history of the Olympic movement with a host of vivid, unique grand ceremonies or functions.

The straight, long axis extends to the Yongdingmen Gate in the south through the magnificent Tiananmen Gate, and to the new Olympic Park in the north through the Bell and Drum Tower; it symbolizes or "caresses" the prosperity and adversity of the longstanding Chinese nation.

Marco Polo of Italy came here to witness the brilliance and glory of ancient China over seven full centuries ago, and he gave rise to the yearning of the Europeans of the Middle Ages to reach the "Orient paradise" at that time.

In May 1900 or the 26th year of Emperor Guangxi), the Eight-power Allied Forces intruded into Beijing, the capital of the imperial Qing dynasty (1644-1911) then and smashed the vanity or ostentation of China's "heavenly kingdom".

Only those people, who are familiar with China's modern history, can tell how eager and longing the 1.3 billion Chinese people was to host such a grand Olympic gala party and they can understand why the people in China endorse and support the Beijing Games, which did not need at all to arouse the people for backing it.

China has done all it could for the Games to take its due share of duty or responsibility and let the rest of the world know that the present China is an important participant in globalization, apart from "realizing its long-cherished dream". In his rare interview on August 4 with a selected group of foreign reporters, President Hu Jintao conveyed to them the "unswerving will" of his country.

Chinese delegation achieved a historic breakthrough with its haul of 100 medals, and this indeed facilitates us fulfilling the solemn commitment China had made to the world and increasing our sense of patriotism. When the bustling Bird's Nest stadium turns quiet gradually, and when people turn the glory of Games into their reminiscence, how we "make an inventory" of the income, and how we turn the zeal and excitement that originated from the Olympics into a motive force for the march forward?

The 16 days of splendid Games has spurred our ancient nation even to go further ahead with its new dream, since the current agitating or exciting world has entered into the "Beijing Time" and the Olympics has enabled China to stand on the central stage of the world.

With 1.3 billion Chinese having undergone an in-depth education regarding the Olympics, and more than 400 million Chinese kids and youths having been enlightened, the Olympics is benefited and its concepts have spread on the most extensive scale on earth and the Olympic Games originating from a nation by the Mediterranean Sea has been merged with a spring-fed stream with hallmarks of the East.

China has shortened or narrowed its distance with the outside world due to the hosting of the Games and, with seven full years of preparations, the concept of the Green Olympic, H-tech Olympic and the people's Olympic has detonated the unique Chinese mode. ,

Moreover, with more than 100 foreign dignitaries, more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries, and several hundred thousand tourists coming worldwide to Beijing and a global audience of 4.5 billion worldwide, the Beijing Olympics has conducted a multi-channel cultural exchange on a very rare, unprecedented way.

As both China and the world at large are benefited and the Olympics benefited itself, the Beijing Olympics Games has been turned into the most crucial spiritual legacy.

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge said the believed that historians would turn Beijing's 2008 Games into an important milestone in China's major changes.

People will never forget Chinese sprinter Liu Changchun appeared holding high China's national flag in the Olympic arena and entered the 100m and 200m run in Los Angeles as the only Chinese athlete to compete in the 10th Olympic Games in 1932.

People will never forget the Chinese sports delegation, comprising 250 athletes, none of whom had taken part in the Olympics before, made its debut at the 1984 Los Angeles summer Games, and they drew thunderous, deafening cheers from the audience when they entered the arena.

And people will never forget that after Chinese applicants failed with its first bid for the 2000 Games failed narrowly by two votes in 1993, they were greeted by a 1,500 well-wishers at the Beijing Capital Airport with a streamer reading"forever Beijing and not distant Olympics".

"Without Deng Xiaoping, there would be no open-up policy," said Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and without the open-up policy. there would be no Olympic Games held in China. In another development, more than 20,000 foreign journalists have come to cover the Games, and the number of reporters coming to cover the Games also set a record with the Olympic Games.

Beijing's Olympics was held at an appropriate time after three decades of reform and opening to the outside world. The economic strength accumulated in the past three decades, China's global outlook and the country's readiness and resolve to integrate into the world economy constitute the most vital conditions for holding of the Games.

What particularly intriguing is that 65 percent of people in China are most interested in "the grace or outlook of Chinese people and the global appraisal of China." So, let us value the gift left by the Games – an even more open China, which not only displays more self-confidence and composure and would in turn get access to more support and opportunities.

The misery or an abyss of suffering in China's history has been turned into the receding figure of the past generations and "my participation, my contribution and my pleasure" have melted away the hardships and vicissitudes throughout the ages.

Since the opening of the Games, Olympic-themed haircut has become popular among Chinese kids, and Olympic badges are seen on at lots of school bags they carry. More than one million volunteers working in varied services inside and outside sports arenas have been dubbed as the "post-80s diplomats" of the Bird's Nest National Stadium, who have given expression to "Chinese feelings". UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has awarded the Beijing Volunteer Association with the UN Distinctive Services Organizing Award.

In Olympic arenas, China won 100 medals and led with 50 gold. This is indeed something worth cheers and acclamation. What lets us be more joyous and elated is that our audience have focused, transcending the listing of the Olympic medal tallies, more onto the integrity and sentiments of athletes, such as shown by German weighlifter Matthias Steiner who held up a picture of his wife Susann, who had died in a car accident last year, and on Russia-Georgia hug, in which Russia's Ketalia Paderina and Georgia's Nino Salukvadze embraced each other after winning Olympic silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the women's 10-meter air pistol final despite ongoing conflicts between their countries …

People in China are convinced that the connotation of a powerful nation need not to base itself on gold medals and a nation imbued with the brilliance of the human nature is still more charismatic. Hence, "the One World, One Dream" has become most precious and most valuable.

Hosting an ace Olympic Games does not mean to say that China has succeeds in realizing its century-old dream to make itself strong. How China will advance in the "post-Olympic era? And the answer will have a bearing on the future of the 1.3 billion people in the country as well as on the future of the world at large.

Beijing 2008 Olympics represents a crucial stop in China's modernization process and, at this historical moment, we should regard our achievements more soberly and look forward to the future more rationally and reasonably. At present, we should likewise think of how to go on merging the Green Olympics, H-tech Olympics and people's Olympics with China's vast territories.

"Beijing will stay clean," "Chinese media will not close the door after the Beijing Olympic Games" and "good changes wrought by the Games will sustain," etc. and the world has heard such promises.

The Beijing Olympics is, beyond any doubt, is an historic event in terms of two biding attempts, seven years of intense preparations and the hosting of the Games itself, and it has erected a milestone in the course of the Chinese nation's revitalization. With the gift of the Olympics after three decade reform and opening-up, China is now situated at a new historical height.

In 1908, the "Tianjin Youth Journal" for the first time in Chinese history queried: When would China sent an athlete to compete in the Olympic Games; when would China send a team to participate in the Games, and When China would host the Olympic Games on its own? The dream or aspiration contained in these three questions has echoed on and one for a whole century, and China has worked hard for 100 years to their accomplishment.

The world thanks China for it has "hosted a high-standard Olympic Games with distinctive characteristics" and China thanks all the more to the world for it has availed it of such a rare, valuable opportunity to realized its century-old dream and to set out for a new voyage to materialize another new dream. Let us cherish high hope that Beijing is again at another starting point of a new journey.

By People's Daily Online




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