One of the major modern tourist attractions in Beijing is the Olympic Park from the 2008 Summer Games. A few weeks ago, I visited the National Stadium (known as the Bird’s Nest) and the National Aquatic Center (known as the Water Cube) with the last group. It was really great to see them up close, but we didn’t go inside. Today, in honor of the start of the 2012 games, we went inside the Water Cube, and got the nighttime experience.
The Olympics brought a lot of attention to China four years ago. People around the world starting arguing about China’s pollution, and the Chinese government shut down many factories for several weeks to improve the air quality. China built new subway lines, buildings and parks to welcome all the visitors to Beijing. China was on display, and they wanted to show their best side. As the Olympics starts yet again, we see each country trying to show their best side. And I have to wonder — are we seeing the truth? Or is it all a big game?
However you are viewing these Olympic games, I hope you enjoy the upcoming competition. Many of these athletes from around the world are role models for people all over the planet. Even though they are proud of their home countries, they are representing something bigger. And perhaps that is the essence of true global citizenship.