Today is 8th August. It reminded me of the inauguration of Beijing Olympics 2008. I was in the UK then pursuing MBA and was surrounded by several Chinese students. I remember what a great moment it was for them and how the event was celebrated and promoted on campus.
8 is very auspicious number in Chinese culture. So China not only bid for and won 2008 Olympics hosting rights, they planned to host it on 8th August 2008 i.e. 8/8/8!
Considering the amount of time it takes to plan and execute Olympics Games you can imagine how long ago they must have prepared themselves. Beijing was awarded the Games over four competitors on 13 July 2001. So it took them just about 7 years to build the massive Sporting infrastructure – including the Bird’s Nest stadium.
It was China’s moment to announce their arrival on world stage. And they did it really well. Many of my Chinese classmates had arranged events in the UK University to promote and spread awareness of the Olympics venue infrastructure, preparedness, and also progress made by China, in general. Not sure if it was funded by some Chinese body; but I could really witness the pride my Chinese classmates felt in talking about the Games.
It’s been 9 years since the Beijing Olympics 2008 began and China created “permanent” ripples in World arena.
The Games spurred huge debate about China’s human rights violation, and uneconomical spending. China also subsequently destroyed or dismantled many Sports venues, as if they were created only to make a point – a show of strength by hosting the Games.
Anyways, I remember the day 8/8/8 vividly because I got the first hand perspective of the Games from many of my Chinese friends and also the significance of choosing that particular day.