Beijing 2008 Olympics: One World, One Dream

Posted by: Kenny Chan onAugust 8th, 2008

Beijing 2008 Olympics
The number 8 in Cantonese is pronounced “baht” sounds pretty much like the Cantonese word for good fortune which is pronounced “faht”. Many Chinese are obsessed with the number 8, so much so that they will try to get phone numbers, house numbers and license plates that have as many 8’s as possible. Many will have 8 course meals for special occasions. It is no wonder then that China chose to start the 2008 Olympics today, August 8, 2008 at 8:08pm. 08/08/08 @ 08:08pm. You cannot stuff any more 8’s into that!

China has been working hard for the last few years building their infrastructure for the Olympics, held this year in Beijing. A new airport, high speed rail lines, 12 new venues, and a new telecommunications network are all part of a $60 Billion investment that China has made to ensure the Olympics go smoothly. The Chinese Government is apparently also going to seed clouds during the games to reduce the chance of rain during the 16 days. Obviously, nothing is being left to chance as this is China’s chance to prove themselves on the world stage.

Large scale demonstrations are expected by pro-Tibetan protesters. China has banned ethnic Tibetans from working in Beijing during the Olympic games for fear they may join anti-Government protests. Security is China’s #1 priority for the Olympics, and they have stated that their target for a successful Olympic is for a “safe” Olympic. Foreign athletes may argue that “safe” should also include the health of the athletes that are competing. While it was one of Beijing’s goals in 2003 to improve the air quality, reports say that smog levels are still higher than the World Health Organization’s healthy rating.

Smog in Beijing on Eve of Opening Ceremonies

Smog in Beijing on Eve of Opening Ceremonies

There does not seem to be much excitement for the Olympic games on the forums based on the Beijing Olympics Megathread but perhaps that will change once the TV coverage from NBC begins. Let’s cheer on the athletes and try to keep the politics out of the Olympic games. I just hope for their sake that the smog levels come down!

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  1. Steve says:

    Hi! This post on the Olympics is great – thanks. Did you know you can grab live images from – Check it out!

  2. Ferio_vti says:

    Altho it’s not incorrect to say ‘in Cantonese,’ but it would be more accurate to refer to Mandarin instead. Mandarin is China’s official language and more Chinese know Mandarin than Cantonese.

  3. Bill Chapman says:

    I like the “One World, One Dream” slogan and the idea behind it. But I do wish we had one second language for everyone in the world. I would like to argue the case for Esperanto as the international language.
    It is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states.

    Take a look at

  4. Alexander says:

    Actually Ferio_vti, it “Baht” and “Faht” are both of the Cantonese dialect. Although it is true that most of China does speak Madarin, when they speak of “Lucky Eight(Faht)” they are referring to the cantonese pronounciation.

  5. […] so of course I’m going to have to include this thread in the weekly review. The theme of the Beijing Olympics is “One World, One Dream”. Be sure to catch the re-run of the opening ceremony, its […]

  6. Brian Barker says:

    Bill Chapman rightly suggests a non-national solution to the world-wide language problem.

    He may not know however that because it is a living language, the Beijing Olympics has appointed an Esperanto translator.

    Hopefully the same will happen, with more support to this language, at the London Olympics in 2012.

    You can see detail at

  7. […] guess there is no better place to do this style of marketing, than at the Olympic Games. Did you like this post? If so share with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites […]

  8. […] year we saw China host the Olympics which many people saw as China’s chance to step onto the world stage and be recognized as a […]

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