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03 August 2008

On your mark, get set . . .

Tagline of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Beautiful Beijing screensaver

Image source: Official Web site of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

IN FIVE days, the Games of the XXIX Olympiad will begin in Beijing, China. This time around, more than 10,000 athletes from 200-plus countries will participate in 302 events in 28 sports. I'm still not sure if Iraq is finally joining the lineup. I've not been able to keep track of the usual controversies around the Olympiad, since there's a bit too much of them this year, mainly in protest of China's poor human rights records. On that note, censoring Internet access for journalists does not help assuage the issues at all.

Nevertheless, watching the games, especially the opening ceremony, is reason enough to believe in the power of human achievement and of unity in diversity. This year, over a hundred indigenous dancers from Taiwan will perform on Chinese land—perhaps the first time that this much of them would do so. Catch them, along with Celine Dion, Jay Chou, and others, at the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games on 8 August, 8:08:08 p.m. China Standard Time (UTC+8). (Don't even think of peeking at those previews secretly filmed and posted on YouTube.)

And while waiting for the games to roll, why don't you check this free official screensaver from the International Olympic Committee? It offers several images showcasing Pekingese culture and includes an RSS feed of Olympic news. Funky way to get your officemates gawk at the beautiful infant pictured above, and to stay on track of the events in Beijing.

Related Story: Athens 2004: Opening Ceremony


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