Mittwoch, 7. Oktober 2009

Interview with Daniel Rotman - Social activist in L.A.

London/China - Beijing Olympics

Olympic baton passed to LondonArticle and photo by Simone Kussatz Translated by Xu Ming

Thousands of people gathered around Trafalgar Square on August 24, 2008 to watch the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Inclement weather that varied between heavy rain and bright sunshine could not dampen the spirit of viewers seated around the giant screen in the center of the square.

The crowd was a colorful and enthusiastic mix of people from all over the world, including some of London's 60,000 Chinese residents.

Mr. Miao from Shenyang city in Liaoning province has been living in London with his wife and daughter for the past four years and said: “I feel better now. For a century, we were waiting for the Olympics to come to China. Now it has finally happened.” Chinese fans were delighted that the country garnered 51 gold medals. However, Mr. Miao conceded that Chinese athletes had an advantage over competitors from other nations: "They don't have as much of a support system." A female student from Hong Kong who studies at the University of Southampton, said: “The Beijing Olympics were well organized and I feel proud of my motherland.” A Beijing expatriate was particularly pleased about London’s effort to bring the Beijing Olympics to Trafalgar Square: “I’m glad I could see everything here and celebrate with all these fans.”

The crowds roared when the screen showed Beijing mayor Guo Jinlong at the side of IOC president Jacques Rogge handing over the Olympic flag to his London counterpart Boris Johnson. Perhaps the biggest applause came when soccer superstar David Beckham kicked a soccer ball from atop a red London double-decker bus.