Kamesh Srinivasan

A seven-year, $40-billion endeavour comes to fruition

BEIJING: China is set to host what could turn out to be the most memorable Olympic Games ever. The Games that will open at the auspicious Chinese time of 8:08.08 on Friday evening should showcase China’s organisational skills and sporting prowess, apart from projecting a vibrant image of the country.

The quadrennial Games are the most eagerly awaited sports spectacle of the world; a stage where you can see a Roger Federer, a Rafael Nadal, an Asafa Powell, a Yelena Isinbayeva, a Ronaldinho, a Michael Phelps, a Kobe Bryant or a Yao Ming all together, all of them taking great pride in representing their countries, all of them wanting to become an Olympic champion.

The 16 days of competitions, beginning on Saturday, in 28 sports disciplines, will surely bring the best out of great champions and world record holders.

Though the Olympics is considered an arena for individual brilliance, national pride invariably takes over with the focus on the medals tally.

This is where China’s second trial will begin. Many experts and analysts have, since the last Games in Athens, forecast that China would go up the medals tally to displace the United States from its pole position. Last time, the U.S. had 36 gold medals to China’s 32.

Worth the wait

It will be worth the wait for China if it occupies the top position in the Games after having spent seven years to get Beijing ready for this momentous occasion, sinking in around $40 billion, the highest cost ever to conduct an Olympics.

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