The Olympics Begin

Photo: Boston.com

With an unprecidented, magnificent opening ceremonies, China has officially opened its doors and let the world enter into Beijing for the Summer Olympics. The show that the China put on will forever live as the greatest opening ceremonies in the history of the Olympics. I just don’t see how any city, any country, anyone could possibly top last night’s performance. It was truly magical. And I would expect nothing less from the Chinese, who are determined to prove that they are not a corrupted, evil empire, but a just, skillful country. Though everyone who saw the lighting of the Olympic Torch was no doubt left in awe, it won’t be as easy to convince the world that China is just. My question is: Are the Olympics the place to share political opinions and uproot years of planning with protesting?

The Olympics are designed to bring the world together for two-plus weeks of incredible events to showcase the greatest athletes in the world and the incredible sportsmanship and respect that exists between those athletes. It is for the four athletes from Malawi to show that their country has pride and passion. It is for Michael Phelps to win nine gold medals and the United States Basketball team to reclaim gold. But most of all, it is for the Chinese to take the world by storm. China has spent four years and millions of dollars developing a strategy and training athletes so that when all is said and done at this year’s Summer Olympics, they will be left holding the most medals. Continue reading “The Olympics Begin”

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Euro 2008 and World Cup Qualifying

If you haven’t been following soccer lately, then you have missed out on some great action:

Euro 2008 is in full swing as the Group Round finishes up tomorrow with two great matches, Russia vs Sweden and Greece vs Spain. Those four teams are in Group D, the fourth of four groups in Euro 2008. Spain has already guaranteed itself a spot in the quarterfinals and Greece has already been eliminated. If Sweden beats or ties Russia tomorrow, they advance, but if Russia wNew York Timesins, then they move on to the quarterfinals. If you don’t find a do-or-die game like that enticing, then you are not a sports fan.

That is just one of four groups in Euro 2008, though the other three have completed all their matches. In Group A, Portugal and Turkey advanced with 6 points each while Switzerland and the Czech Republic were sent home early. In a similar do-or-die game between the Czech Republic and Turkey earlier this week, Turkey scored 3 goals in the last 15 minutes, including two goals by Nihat Kahveci in the final three minutes of the game, to beat the Czech Republic 3-2 and advance to the quarterfinals. Lead by Christiano Ronaldo, Portugal sailed through the Group Round with easy wins over Turkey and the Czech Republic. In their final game against Switzerland, Portugal sat most of their starters as they had already ensured themselves a spot in the next round. Playing a sub-par team, Switzerland defeated Portugal 2-0 in the game and captured their only victory of the tournament. Continue reading “Euro 2008 and World Cup Qualifying”