U.S. media praises “truly exceptional” Beijing Olympics

Xinhua article

NEW YORK, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) — The closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics received wide coverage by most U.S. media outlets, with many praising the Games as the most memorable summer Olympics.

In its delayed broadcast, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), which owns the exclusive broadcast rights to the Beijing Olympics, described the closing ceremony as the “closing party.”

Bob Costas, who has hosted Olympic broadcasts for many times since 1992, described the Beijing games as “the most memorable Olympics ever.”

“I have been fortunate to have been involved in many Olympics,” Costas said. “In many ways, this has been the most memorable.”

“Beyond the competitive drama, every Olympics provides a snapshot of a city and a country at a point and time. This one was more compelling than most, since China’s rise and its ongoing transformation is the global story, not only of the moment, but likely of the foreseeable future,” he said.

Costas praised the Chinese people’s warmth and their efforts to show themselves to the world.

“No advanced degree in international relations is required to appreciate the genuine warmth of the Chinese people, the honest pride in their country, and how seriously Chinese citizens, from famous Olympians to everyday men and women, took this chance to show themselves to the world,” he said.

NBC also covered the closing ceremony on its dedicated Olympics website.

In a piece titled “Truly exceptional Games,” it said the Beijing Olympics made history “in virtually every regard.”

“It was clear what was at issue here from the outset — the very first drumbeats at the opening ceremony on Aug. 8 serving notice of China’s arrival among the front ranks of the nations of the world, a station Chinese athletes emphatically underscored over the next two weeks, their performance topping the gold-medal chart, with 51,” the article said.

It said the 2008 Olympics established on several fronts benchmarks against which “successive editions of the Olympics are sure to be measured.”

“The venues were first-rate, several architectural marvels. The buses ran on time. Pollution-related concerns ultimately played no part in the sports schedule,” the article said.

In a story headlined “Olympic success boosts China’s confidence,” the Christian Science Monitor said “the striking success of the Olympics on burnishing China’s prestige as the world admired its sporting prowess, organizational skills, and dramatically modern urban landscapes could encourage profound changes in the country.”

Many U.S. media outlets heaped praises on the Chinese volunteers at the Beijing Games.

“The thousands of blue-shirted volunteers could not have been more friendly, polite and welcoming — even when, as was frequently the case, the language barrier proved formidable,” NBC said.

The Los Angeles Times praised the Chinese volunteers for their friendliness and efficiency.

“Have a computer problem? Three volunteers descended in five minutes to solve it. Arrive at a venue without an umbrella on a rainy day? Volunteers requested you wait on the bus until they found one.”

Alexander Wolff, a Sports Illustrated writer, wrote about his encounters “that showed what the Games meant to China.” In one of the encounters, two volunteers wished him good night at 4:30 in the morning after he had finished a story on the U.S. defeat of China in the men’s basketball tournament in the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium.

“I smiled, then turned to look around the gym. There was no one in the place but us. There had probably been no one else in the place since 2 a.m.,” Wolff said.

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