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Kenyans say Beijing Olympic Games will never be surpassed

By Ben Ochieng (Xinhua)

09:30, July 31, 2012

NAIROBI, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The 2012 London Olympic Games are only 4 days old.

However, Kenyans have already compared the 2 successive opening ceremonies and passed a unanimous verdict that the 2008 Beijing Games set the bar so high that it might never be matched at any Olympics.

Kenyans are keen followers of the Olympic Games since they first won an Olympic medal (bronze) during the 1964 Tokyo Games and the first gold medal during the Mexico City Games in 1968.

Kenya has continued to perform well in the subsequent years with the 2008 Beijing outing being the country's best ever in terms of medal tally and the Games still continuing to resonate well with Kenyans.

David Kilundo, who was the Assistant Team Manager of Kenya's athletics team and attended the opening ceremony on August 8, 2008 at the 'Bird's Nest' said though the London Games opening ceremony was unique in its own way, the spectacular performance by the Chinese raised the bar so high in terms of performance that it may never be surpassed.

"I said 4 years ago upon arriving from the Olympics that the Chinese set the bar so high and now I hereby confirm that the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony remains one of the most spectacular shows on earth. You needed to be there to feel it."

Olympic Opening Ceremonies once were primarily a showcase for athletes themselves, marching in the stadium to the applause of a packed audience.

Though that is still a vital part of the show, the last few Olympiads have become theatrical undertakings that have served as the host countries opportunity to dazzle the world with choreography, creativity, costumes and technology.

Kilundo says the Chinese culture, which is rich and diverse contributed highly in making the Opening Ceremony the success that it was.

"In Kenya we have a saying 'mwacha mila ni mtumwa' which translates into 'he who abandons his culture is a slave'. Beijing gave the world a glimpse of the Chinese ancient culture which has no replica elsewhere in the world."

Fredrick Nwili, a journalist with an international media outlet agrees with Kilundo that Kenyans resonated well with the Beijing Opening Ceremony because of the strong cultural element they could identify with.

"Many Kenyans found the Opening Ceremony in London a bit too abstract to follow. It was rather drab and lacked artistry compared to Beijing," Nzwili told Xinhua in Nairobi on Monday.

Ali Wechuli, who works with an insurance firm in Nairobi described the Beijing event as 'the most significant live event ever filmed' because of its sheer artistry, lighting and technology.

"The images of those 15,000 lighted and martial arts silhouetted dancers, drummers, percussionists, artists underneath movable boxes and around an illuminated globe all performing in sheer synchrony during the three-hour event to showcase China's ancient history marked its arrival as a showbiz superpower that can no longer be ignored."

He said the event was easier to follow unlike the London one that had so many activities taking place in every corner of the stadium, making it difficult for the audience to decide which one to keep track of.

Athletics coach Fanuel Mayaka told Xinhua that he knew London was in trouble by the time a man had 'walked on air' around the top of the Olympic Stadium and lit the Olympic torch, adding that Beijing Opening Ceremony may never be matched for a long time, if ever.

"The message had been sent loud and clear. The host of the 2012 Games and subsequent Olympics was handed the most daunting assignment in Opening Ceremony history, following what to me was the greatest show on earth. It is hard to imagine anything the ensuing Games will do will ever remotely compare to the spectacle Beijing delivered to the world."

A Nairobi-based taxi driver says images of the fireworks that lit the skyline of Beijing are stilled etched in his mind as though it happened yesterday.

"I have seen fireworks during the grand opening or closing of big events, but the ones that exploded in Beijing precede them all."

For most Kenyans' the Olympic 'proper' begins on August 3 when the athletics program is set to begin and which is the event that has earned Kenya all the medals it has won at the Olympics save for one that the country won in boxing during the Seoul Games in 1988.


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Harold at 2012-07-3170.71.106.*
In agreement, China"s culture and precision can never be truly matched. For example, let"s say India is given the Olympic games. Sure they can showcase ancient India much like China did, but they don"t have the national spirit, will and determination that the Chinese had to pull it off precisely. Only North Korea could match Chinese pinpoint accuracy, but then again, they would not match the cultural or artistry.Therefore China has no equal for a long time in the Olympics ceremonies.

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