Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics Commence

BEIJING (AP) - China didn't just walk onto the world stage. It soared over it. At last playing its long-sought role as Olympic host, China opened the Summer Games in spectacular fashion Friday with an extravaganza of fireworks and pageantry dramatizing its ascendance as a global power.

Disasters, environmental problems and human-rights disputes preceded the games, and questions abound about how they will unfold. But for an evening, at least for the 91,000 people packed into the new National Stadium, it was an interlude of fervor and magic - capped by the spellbinding sight of a skywalking, torchbearing gymnast floating around the stadium's top rim before sending a torrent of fire upward to light the Olympic flame.

Scores of world leaders were on hand, and the potential TV audience was 4 billion worldwide for what was certainly the costliest and probably the largest opening ceremony in Olympic history.

Damn, I missed it. At least I can say I was a part of the 3 billion that didn't tune in.

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