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|Monday, July 16, 2001, updated at 16:27(GMT+8)|
Eight Years-Recalling Beijing's 1993 Olympic BidEight years had passed from 2:27 a.m. on September 24, 1993 to 22:08 p.m. on July 13, 2001! Beijing's Olympic bid had finally got out of the shadow of failure at Monte Carlo and welcomed in the laughter of victory in Moscow. Those were eight years in which the Chinese people raised their heads in expectation, eight years in which we endured all kinds of hardships in order to accomplish our cherished ambition, and eight years in which we were enthusiastic and pressed on all the time.
As we recall the previous Olympic bid, we contemplate the present and recall the past with emotion when all sorts of feelings well up in our minds. In 1993, in line with the two kinds of the Monte Carlo voting result-either win or failure, Chinese news media prepared two "versions": Gain-not to get conceited because of victory; lose-not to be disheartened in case of defeat. Of the media, People's Daily prepared two commentaries: When win, it would publish the commentary entitled "Beijing Thanks the World"; when fail, it would publish another commentary titled "Unswervingly Advancing to the World". At that time, I was lucky enough to draft these two commentaries.
Unfortunately, our previous Olympic bid failed, the commentary published was the latter one, which wrote: "We respect the choice of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and congratulate Sydney on its Olympic bid success. At the same time we are, as always, filled with gratitude to the IOC for its support of China's work of applying for hosting the Olympic Games and are, as always, filled with the sentiment of friendship for the whole world. In the future, China will all the more open its mind to welcome guests from all the four seas, and extensively make friends from the five continents and will unswervingly advance toward the world. the open China is expecting the Olympic Games, an open China is fully capable of hosting an Olympic Games successfully. Hosting the Olympic Games is the strong wishes of the Chinese people whether today or in the future." The commentary said in conclusion, "Not to get conceited because of victory, and not to be downhearted because of defeat, that is the demeanor and bearing the Chinese people should have. There are many years to come and we will certainly meet again someday. We believe in this oriental country with one-fifth of the world's population, a territory of 9.6 million km and a history of over 5,000-year civilization, the days when the Olympic five-ring flag flies high in the sky will not be far off. Compatriots, let's continue our efforts to greet the arrival of this day!"
At 2:27' 40" a.m. on September 24, 1993, IOC President J.A. Samaranch announced that Sydney succeeded in its Olympic bid. Beijing lost the chance with only two votes less. After the news on Comrade Li Tieying's cable of solicitude to Beijing's Olympic Bid Delegation was broadcast by the CCTV Station, this commentary was broadcast time and again. This commentary was published with reluctance.
The commentary we wanted very much to publish was "Beijing Thanks the World". This commentary wrote, "The public are expecting the Olympic Games, their dream has come true. Beijing thanks the world! The 27th Olympic Games is a grand gathering to be held at a time when we bid farewell to the 20th century and welcome in the 21st century, it is of a cross-century significance. It offers a very rare opportunity and is the focus of world attention. The IOC has made a historic choice and given China high honor and a valuable opportunity. The Chinese people will merit the great trust and go all out to hand in an answer sheet to the satisfaction of the world people." The commentary said in conclusion, "An open China is expecting the Olympic Games, an open China is fully capable of hosting an Olympic Games successfully. Compatriots, let's extend our two hands to welcome the 2000-a new Olympic horizon!"
That commentary can only be kept as a historical material. When we often recall this, we feel deeply regret; when we often recall this, we are convinced that the Chinese people can certainly fulfill their Olympic Games dream.
Beijing again filed an application for hosting the Olympic Games eight years later. In line with the two kinds of the Moscow voting result-win or failure, Chinese news media again prepared two kinds of "versions". "Flowers are similar every year, but people are different year after year". This time, the "version" presented by Chinese news media is about the people dancing for joy and the whole nation immersed in celebrations. On July 14, People's Daily, devoting an eye-catching position on the front page, to the ceremonious publication of an editorial entitled "Writing the Most Magnificent Chapter in the Olympic Games History", hailing Beijing's success in its bid for hosting the 29th Olympic Games in 2008. The editorial was drafted by staff members of the Commentary Department of People's Daily. I admire their opportunity and share their joy. That commentary prepared for failure in Beijing Olympic bid will never be published.
Beijing's two Olympic bids went through eight years, the Chinese people had undergone "81 hurdles", they have finally crossed the "mountain of flame", ferried across the "Tongtian (direct access to heaven) River" and received their own honor. Eight years represent a process and a tempering. For the great cause of the motherland and a better future of the people, in the years ahead, the course of struggle will, like application for hosting the Olympic Games, be arduous yet magnificent. Compatriots, we still need to immerse ourselves in hard work, work hard and work hard again!
This article, written by Li Demin, was published on Page 1 of People's Daily (Overseas Edition) on July 16.
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