August 22nd, 2008

Voices From Beijing: Going Bananas

By Alex Jones, Product Manager, Ethicon Scotland, blogging from Beijing

My first view of Beijing was from the air, and I was surprised to see so many of the buildings having red and blue coloured roofs. What struck me most was the sheer scale of this city, stretching approximately 120km wide and long.

Once on land, the Olympic presence was felt immediately, with staff in Olympic uniform all around the airport, offering maps and advise on the games. Every road, bus and building was also bannered with the Olympic branding.

We headed off to our hotel and then over to the Johnson & Johnson command centre to meet all the people coordinating the sponsorship of the Games.

Our whirlwind day started straight away with tickets to the Men’s 105kg weightlifting event.

We headed over to the site by taxi straight through Tiananmen Square. I hadn’t realized that the square would be like a giant crossroads with cars traveling in every direction. We arrived at the weightlifting early, to clear security and experience the building of excitement around the event. I have never experienced such a hive of activity and the electric atmosphere was addictive. Each event is supported by a theatrical show including the Olympic mascots.

What I loved the most was seeing each countries individual supporters. The Syrian support crew in the crowd cheered all the way. The Chinese children and students are present at every turn wearing stickers and banners on their heads.

At each event, all the country flags fly, reminding you of just how many countries actually take part in these games, and the banner of “One World, One Dream” is never far away.
Day 1 ended with tickets to the Men’s 54kg featherweight boxing. Again, another stunning event with Botswana supporters chanting the loudest.

So as for “Going Bananas in Beijing” . . .It’s a crazy city, I haven’t had any bananas as yet, but I have experienced my first apple/pear . . .a very strange experience of eating an apple that tastes like a pear. That’s it for day one . . .keep watching out for more updates later.


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