All 3 entries tagged Olympics

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August 12, 2007


Beijing is employing an unprecedented number of volunteers to support the Game. There is a number of jobs that are paid, mostly highly skilled; but the majority relies on the good will of the people. Some jobs are considered more prestigious than other, some are more fun to do, some involve more responsibilities and etc. And then there are jobs that are so shite that you have to pay to get done: cleaning, garbage collection, merchandise stocking and etc. These jobs are as essential to the Games as the translators, the team managers, the accommodation bookers and the like. It’s a bizarre situation, where the top and the bottom have to be paid and the middle ones are the ones who are not good enough or bad enough to be paid. This situation is echoed in real life employment and I’m one of the middle ones…

August 11, 2007

The Aftermath

There’s little time left before the 2008 Olympics finally arrive in Beijing, but what will happen after it? Will there be an anti-climax? Will there be a backlash? Will there be billions of unpaid debts? Farmers who have abandoned their heritage and their lands to come to the city and build for the Olympics; children that have been left to care for by the elderly and the neighbours while the parents are trying to make a little profit off this pompous event; even greater gap between the rich and the poor who were offered little compensation for their lost homes. China is putting on a great propaganda campaign for itself ahead of the Games, but what will come after the Games is what will tell the true story of China’s development.

August 09, 2007

Olympics over Party

I am a fond lover of the Chinese central news. During my current visit to Beijing I noticed something rather interesting. For the first time in decades the word party is giving way in popularity to another word, “Olympics”. To say that the upcoming Olympics are doing wonders in Beijing is to say nothing. I don’t think there’s ever been such precedent in history that measures in its scale to the efforts the Chinese are putting into this Game. The marketing of the event is much like the marketing of The Simpsons movie, except this one has been going on since Beijing was voted to host the 2008 Olympics.

Starting tomorrow, the Beijing transport authorities will be introducing a testing regime that involves rescheduling the office hours of large companies and offices to try and regulate morning traffic and shortage of public transport. The reported ‘clear sky days’ are nearing 260 days per year (out of the 365)! And this is at a time when major news channels are pessimistically announcing that 7 out of 10 heavily polluted cities in the world are in China. My point is, the Olympics is everywhere now and China, Beijing is transforming before the eyes.

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