Forget the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
The China Olympics will essentially offer up a Petri dish for stories that transcend sports.
I was in Hong Kong back in 2001 when China was officially awarded the Olympics. I managed to snag a copy of the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper commemorating the milestone, which was subsequently framed and hoisted next my desk.
The photo has served as a reminder every day I sat down to my computer screen and cup of java that we were one day closer to the big day.
Talk about good planning on the part of the Chinese Olympic Committee.
The opening ceremonies will kick off at the luckiest of times, 8/08/08 at 8:08 p.m. (if only there were 90 minutes in an hour). In fact, the fortune associated with the number eight in the Chinese culture has inspired over 16,000 couples to be married on this date.
But I digress.
The next 16 days will bring a cavalcade of stories from every nook and cranny of China. With 20,000 journalists (many not named Oscar Madison) descending on the country, the story themes will range from “touch the heart” to “that’s gross” and everything in between.
In a sense, this isn’t a sports Olympics.
It’s a society Olympics.
The best stories will inspire, educate or provoke with entertainment as the common foundation.