Beijing Olympics Serve as Educational Tool


Catching bits and pieces of Olympic television coverage (and who couldn’t watch at least a little on any of the many "family" of NBC networks) over the weekend prompts the following:

  • I consider myself a fairly intelligent 45-year-old who pays attention to what goes on around him. But who knew there really were 205 countries eligible to participate in these Olympic Games. Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, both different from Papua New Guinea? Mauritania and Mauritius? Where are Comoros and Turkmanistan? Maybe our children going back to school in this and coming weeks could gain a world history lesson.
  • The U.S. is certainly guilty in other areas, but a $300 million price tag for the opening ceremonies? Think of the other ways some of that money could have been spent.
  • There is a rule in place that gymnastics (maybe all) competitors have to be at least 16 years old. Most of the Chinese female gymnasts, however, appear to have been babies during the 1996 Atlanta Games rather than the 1992 event in Barcelona.
  • That said, the Games are capitivating. It’s not just national pride, but watching the underdogs, from wherever, competing against the big countries is what it’s all about.
  • Michael Phelps might erase former IU Hoosier Mark Spitz from the record book, but 41-year-old Dara Torres swimming — and successfully — against women half her age is truly amazing.
  • This is supposed to be about business. So, we’ll end with no matter what you think about China and its politics, rest assured that the country will continue to grow in prominence and in its place in the international business world.

Also, read the China Business Review’s take on the overall impact the Olympics will have on Beijing and the nation.

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