Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic feats

No more shiny, sunny days in the Canadian West Coast. We're back to our usual, almost year-round rainy weather, which pretty much indicates us that summer is over. And along with it, the Beijing 2008 Olympics also came to an end. They will be certainly remembered in the years to come, for many reasons.

It was not only Michael Phelps' feat of winning 8 gold medals in the same Olympics. Not only the Jamaican runner Usain Bolt smashing the world records for both men's 100 and 200 meters. Nor Elena Isinbaeva breaking the world record for women's pole vault, which was previously held by herself. Of course, all of those achievements are remarkable themselves (among many, many other feats by athletes from different parts of the world in different categories - I believe that all of the contestants deserve some credit, regardless), but the Beijing Olympics themselves also broke a record: The most viewed Olympics in history.

That's right, a few days some newspapers around the world, along with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) noted that no other Olympics in history have been viewed more than Beijing 2008. The rating achieved here, which surpassed the old record held by Athens 2004, was partly boosted by the numerous communications tools that made it easier for people around the world to follow the different events. More precisely, internet tools such as Youtube, helped a lot to allow people to watch different events during the Olympics, including the opening and closing ceremonies.

This is good news for the organizers of Beijing 2008. But it is indeed an ironic fact, given the controversy that arose about the Olympics a few months ago, when the torch relay was going worldwide and it appeared that numerous groups were making their best to guarantee a boycott to these games. Well, the news for those groups couldn't be worse than this, as not only the Beijing 2008 games reached unprecedented levels of audience, but also the Chinese authorities managed to keep protesters, activists, and other 'threats' (so to speak) silent during the games, and mostly out of their country.

Congratulations for the success of Beijing 2008, and thanks to the organizers for such a wonderful event. Last, but not least, the Paralympics are coming, which I am sure will also be full of amazing feats and memorable successes.


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