August 11, 2008 |
'One World, One Dream" -- that's the slogan the Chinese Olympic Committee chose for the 2008 Games in Beijing. But don't let the idealism fool you. This year, beneath the roar of the high-minded sloganeering, you could hear the same twin engines that have powered all modern Olympiads: nationalism and capitalism. While I was in China last week, I noticed that the media were doing the same dance they do in the U.S.
August 7, 2008 |
BEIJING -- It started at Barcelona in 1992. The grumble was almost perceptible. Part of the world that cared about the Olympics embraced the concept of the Dream Team. Another part smelled a sellout. The Olympic Games -- a place to overcome and achieve and be celebrated, even if you fenced or synchronized swam -- had turned pro. Of course, it had done that years before, just not so publicly.
August 5, 2008 |
On a hot summer night about 10:30, the many men and women living under an elevated section of highway were trying to nod off, swatting the mosquitoes at their ears, shifting their hips uncomfortably on sheets of newspaper and cardboard strewn on the pavement, when someone shouted, "Police!" By the time most could rouse themselves, it was too late. Police had blocked the routes of escape with large buses they would later use to cart away their quarry.
August 5, 2008
Re "Salute deserves no honor," Opinion, July 29 Although we could debate ad nauseam whether the ostensibly apolitical Olympic Games were the proper platform, I am troubled and confounded by Jonah Goldberg's description of Tommie Smith's and John Carlos' salutes as "self-indulgent protest." Their bringing attention to the continued denial of civil rights -- indeed, the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- back home was the essence of self-sacrifice, unless Goldberg views the Declaration of Independence as "self-indulgent protest" as well.
August 3, 2008 |
When Wu Yifu wants to play basketball with his friends, he has to travel 30 minutes by subway, pay $2, and then wait for up to two hours to get on the public court. If he tries to slip in without paying, he faces a $15 fine. Sure it's a bit of a hassle, the 15-year-old junior high student said, but it's still better than other Beijing basketball courts that charge twice as much. Wu is lucky. At least he has someplace to go.
August 3, 2008 |
Rome 1960 The Olympics That Changed the World David Maraniss Simon & Schuster: 464 pp., $26.95 -- The OLYMPIC GAMES are, quite literally, many things. Too many things, some might say.
August 3, 2008 |
Though it won't be finished for another year or so, the China Central Television headquarters, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren of the Dutch firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture, is already a jaw-dropping sight. A giant Mobius strip of a skyscraper, CCTV consists of two leaning towers, each 51 stories high, connected by a pair of cantilevered arms.
August 2, 2008 |
Jim Abbott treasures his memories of marching with the U.S. Olympic team during the 1988 Seoul Games opening ceremony, bunking down in the athletes' village and pitching the baseball team to victory in the gold-medal game. "Of all the things I kept from my career, from my life, actually, that gold medal is one of the most cherished," said Abbott, who was born without a right hand but pitched for a decade with the Angels and other big league teams.
July 31, 2008 |
A 2,100-year-old bronze and iron computer that predicted eclipses and other astronomical events also showed the cycle of the Greek Olympics and the related games that led up to it, researchers reported today. The research team also has been able to decipher all the month names from the heavily corroded fragments of the so-called Antikythera mechanism, providing the first concrete evidence that an astronomical scheme devised by the Greek astronomer Geminos was put to practical use.