After weeks of reporting both before and during the Olympics in Beijing, it was becoming apparent that some of the pre-conceived ideas of the Western media were beginning to diminish.
Certainly, anyone watching the very moving and innovative closing ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics couldn't help but feel the spirit of emotion, love and humility expressed by the Chinese on this most memorable event. Having spent three weeks in China in the days running up to these momentous Games, I was often perturbed by the unrelenting criticisms meted out in the West towards anything remotely Chinese. My experience in China was the opposite of what I was reading in the Western Press. What a joy it was for me, therefore, to finally hear television reporters concede that their time in Beijing had been unforgettable, mainly due to the friendly and helpful Chinese people. I, for one, experienced that same hospitality and the extended hand of friendship and warmth from the people of China.
For this remarkable event in Beijing, I think we should all say, “Xie xie” (thank-you) Beijing and thank-you China.