Who Are the Games For Anyways?

Perhaps this is a rant out of frustration more than anything, but more than broken promises over the internet, more than the pollution, the story that should get reported is about what these festivities mean to the average person, the laobaixing, and who has a chance to enjoy them.

Last night, the final rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies took place at the Bird's Nest. There were numerous news stories about this ahead of time and it seemed like BOCOG was hoping for people to come out and try to experience it, even if it was just watching the fireworks from outside the stadium. Unfortunately, unlike previous rehearsals, those who wished to catch a look at the preparations were forced to sneak a peak from far away from the venue as security was out in force. I can understand the security risk on August 8th, but why weren't the common people allowed to get within a mile of the stadium last night?

Then there was the beginning of the Beijing leg of the torch relay in Tiananmen Square this morning, unfortunately if you were not bused in by the government or an official sponsor, you couldn't get anywhere near Changan Road. Does the government think they are fooling people with the evenly spaced wavers of the Chinese flag and the Beijing Olympics flag? This Potemkin relay, closed to the general public, kills the spirit and the whole point of the torch relay, to let the masses get a taste of the Olympic spirit and enjoy the festivities. It was a bleak picture of the "Olympic spirit" as a large group of common people gathered around a small tv in a shop and watched the torch pass by just off Changan Rd, even though the torch was only 200 feet away from where they were standing, a huge contingent of police and soldiers prevented them from getting anywhere near Changan Rd. It's a disgrace...

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