My grandparents were the ones who got me to watch the Olympics, the only - only - sporting event[s] I ever watch. I have been watching the Olympics since 1972 (I was born in the time of the 1968 Olympics, but I was too young to watch it).
And I have watched them all from that time forward, and while splitting up the Winter and Summer games has its advantages, I would not have minded if it remained four years apart. But this is good, too.
The Olympics don't mean sports to me. They mean the one thing that transcends the planet's geo-political set up, issues, weirdness and constant bickering. No matter what happens in the world, the Olympics go on. The torch is passed everytime, traverses the world, runs from Athens, Greece to Turin, Italy to Beijing, China to Vancouver, Canada. From Canada it will go to London, Great Britain. The city hosting the 2016 games will be announced from Copenhagen, Denmark on 2 October 2009. I can't wait to find out.
The Olympics became a worldwide combined effort in 1896. So while Olympics have existed since early Greece has been around millenia ago, the well-kept, united history of this has been best documented for 112 years. This is also why this is only the 29th (XXVIIII) Olympics.
This year's host, Beijing, China, has gone all-out and produced, hands-down, the most unbelievable, truly incredible, staggeringly beautiful opening ceremony that have ever seen. I have seen nine Olympic games (keep in mind that for the 36 years I have seen Olympic games, only 14 years have had the games staggered by splitting the Winter and Summer games, in 1994, after the Barcelona, Espana games of 1992), but nothing - nothing - like this. It was the most... most... there are no words to describe this.
There were 2,008 drummers in the first moments of the Opening Ceremony. The drummers were on either side of the huge middle section of the floor of the Bird's Nest stadium, built specifically for the 2008 games. The middle section of the floor is kind of like the middle floors of the various Cirque du Soliel shows, a construction that moves and has different technological things that it handles. And this thing is HUGE. I don't know if this is the biggest stadium ever built. I wouldn't be surprised if it were.
The screen surrounding the top of the Bird's Nest stadium is a half-mile long membrane that shows iamges and movies on it. The stadium itself seats a mere 90,000 people. The middle of the stage I've described. It's a show stopper, it is really is.
I only have one wonder... what are they gonna do for the Closing ceremonies?!