17 days of games of the 29th Olympiad began on 8/8/08 in Beijing, China - where few rule many. Beijing is also known as the city of kites since kites were first discovered there. China has a population of 1.4 billion. The games are being played in the Olympic Green (aka "Bird's Nest") Stadium which seats 91,000 at a construction cost of roughly $40 billion including housing for the athletes. Through struggle and triumph, the transformation appears as sharp as a razor's edge. French and English are the spoken language of the olympics. The opening ceremonies was spectacular and unlike any other. The Chinese played out their dynastic history and modern times. Under the stadium floor was an LED screen reaching 500 feet which greatly enhanced the fireworks, lighting and brilliantly synchronized drummers. There were 8 torch runners in the stadium for the final lighting of the cauldron - the final carrier - a 6 time gold medal winner - was hoisted to the upper reaches of the stadium and appeared to be running the approximate 5 miles of the stadium. (He was actually running in mid air.) After the Olympic flag was hoisted, I felt we were one with the world.
President and Mrs. Bush were in attendance at the parade of nations. Our athletes were attired in dark navy blue jackets, pants/skirts, white shirts/blouses and red, white and blue ties/neck scarves with white caps. I felt proud of our athletes and of my American heritage.
After the parade, the president of China spoke welcoming friends from far away and summoning the games to commence.
Fireworks, visual effects and lighting made a breathtaking finish. By far, the 29th Olympics ceremony far exceeded all superlatives.