Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympics by numbers

2,008 drummers pounded out the countdown to the Games

80 world leaders and 91,000 excited spectators in the majestic Bird's Nest stadium

$43 billion price tag

10,708 athletes from a record 204 nations chasing 302 gold medals in 28 sports

154 micrograms per cubic metre of polution (WHO safe level is 50)

5,000 years of history in opening ceremony and a 16-tonne crystal ball

100,000 police deployed to prevent attacks and protests

7,000,000 tickets sold

1 billion dollars spent on Olympic advertising on US network NBC

4 years prison sentence for housing activist Ye Guozhu who wanted to protest about Olympic evictions in Beijing

596 athletes in US team

5,000 yuan (480 €) for opening ceremony ticket

5ft 7in (1.70m) required height for performers

7ft 6in (2.28m) height of China's NBA basketball superstar

1,500 reported dead as Russian troops raid Tskhinvali

All shamelessly copied from today's edition of The Independent newspaper.


Indie said...

The Olympics are an amazing event but I think nations are getting out or control and spending way too much money on this. The cost of the opening games could have fed the poor of China for the next 10 years at least. The purpose of the original games was to stop war and celebrate instead a war was started on this day not to mention the other ones that continue to kill hundreds daily. The ideal and spirit of the Olympics is gone.

Fifi Flowers said...

My children were mesmerized by the drumming and opeing ceremony... it's so nice to be young and innocent and not know any of the ugly statistic... oh the joys of childhood!
BTW... Thanks for visiting me!

Daniel B. said...

Agree with Indie

Per Stromsjo said...

And zero people actively following the event in this particular household. I used to be fascinated by televised sports but no more... The world does not need more nationalism.

Lily Hydrangea said...

what's it all about?
it all doesn't make much sense, does it?
It's as if the world goes one step forward and two steps backward.

Tinsie said...

@ Indie/Daniel: Who can define what is "way too much"? China is a massive country and I'm sure the amount spent on the Olympics is a drop in the ocean (and wouldn't feed their poor for a year, let alone 10). Plus, the (ancient) Olympic ideal applied to a handful of nations only, not to the whole world, so why do we expect the whole world to suddenly abide by it?

@ Fifi: I know exactly what you mean - I was mesmerised too!!

@ Per: I'd argue that this is exactly the kind of nationalism it needs :-)

@ Lily: It certainly doesn't make sense that Georgia would choose the first day of the Olympics to go to war. Seems totally calculated and almost like tempting fate. I just hope they stop fighting before the whole thing escalates into something much bigger.