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Jade on the Beijing Olympics

September, 2008
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Olympic Athletics 014 During one of the great wars, it is said that on Christmas day the soldiers declared a truce. They decided to play football, instead of fight, and shared pictures of their loved ones back home, with the ‘enemy’. This sort of comradery, is at the heart of the Olympic Games. No matter what country you are from, athletes compete for a victory much more satisfying than a violently won battle.

  During the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, there were many memorable and quirky moments that made it unique. (Five topics like the five rings)

1 - Friendly & Welcoming Atmosphere

I only heard TWO people spit during the whole of the Olympic Games!


No matter were you went, people would say “hello!” or offer to lend a hand. I met one visitor on the subway, a fellow Australian, with whom I chatted for awhile, and then said goodbye to. The next week, I walked into a restaurant, and he just happened to be sitting at the table next to me! Meeting new people and being proud of Beijing as a gorgeous city was a definite highlight of this recent Olympics.

2 - Patriotism

When I went to the Olympic events, my sister wanted to take a picture with athletes and supporters of every sort of nationality she could find. One day, when I went to the Bird’s Nest, I was dressed up like an Australian cheerleader – and athletes were asking to have their pictures taken with me! I think it was a good time to support your country, but also share in the enjoyment of others’. When we were at the Bird’s Nest, my sister’s Ethiopian friend was able to get us a seat right near the finish line of the Men’s 10000m race where two Ethiopian runners came first and second. We were jumping up and down, screaming at the top of our lungs, and dancing along with all the other Ethiopians and supporters.

3 - Helping

Upon entering the train station one day, I spotted four men who looked very confused. I went over to them and asked them if they needed help. They were Spanish, and I just finished IB Spanish, so I communicated with them in Spanish and English, whilst using my Chinese to ask for help for them. It was a true clash of cultures, and everything that the Olympics are meant to be.


4 - Jia You! Zhong Guo dui! (Go Chinese Team!)

Much to my sister’s and my embarrassment, my father learnt this phrase and then wanted to shout it out or use it in everyday conversation at every possible moment. However, as embarrassing as it may have been to have a grey-haired laowai shouting JIA YOU with the wrong pronunciation and totally incorrect tones, it was a very apt phrase for the Beijing Olympics and definitely got spirits lifted. With hundreds of thousands of volunteers, brand new venues and subway routes, the Olympics really helped Beijing become a whole new city – whilst still keeping its air of culture and antiquity. There are even rumours that the traffic regulations might become permanent!

5 - Inspiration –cropped version

The Olympics definitely inspired many students around Beijing. Some have started training extra hard at their favourite sport in case they might be able to represent their country one day in a future Olympic Games. Some have begun to take up an interest in new sports they hadn’t seen before, for example – shot put. Some, like me, have decided working for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would be the best job ever!


With all the excitement surrounding the Olympic Games, the Paralympics might seem anti-climatic, but the people competing in the Paralympics have had to persevere through so much hardship to get to the Beijing Paralympic Games that they really deserve all the fame and attention that the Olympic athletes received. I can’t imagine playing soccer and not being able to see! Or playing basketball and not being able to jump or run! Think about how hard they must have to work when you complain about walking to the bus in the morning!

Olympic Athletics 037 GOSSIP OF THE GAMES

  • - Vince Vaughn was spotted out and about by WAB students near Yashow
  • - Chris Tucker was also spotted around Lady Street
  • - An Australian TV Network was banned after interviewing multiple gold-medal winning Australian athlete Rice about her recent breakup with another member of the Aussie Olympic team
  • - The Olympic village dining hall was supposedly as long as 6 basketball courts and had its own McDonalds! 
  • - Usain Bolt might be as fast as, well as fast as a ‘bolt’ of lightening, but he refused to sign autographs for fans
  • - Kobe Bryant rented out a suite at the Hilton as well as his room at the Olympic Village so he could hit the bars and clubs at night
  • - None of the Chinese athletes stayed in the Olympic Village.

By Jade Demnar,

Beijing BISS International School

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