China's jaw-dropping start to the Beijing Games raised the bar for Olympic opening ceremonies.
This was China's coming-out party – its opportunity to present itself to the world as a modern, vibrant, efficient place in which to do business, and the world's largest population put on an epic show at the Bird's Nest stadium. We all knew that Beijing was going to go big on the Olympic Games, but nobody could have expected the manner in which a gigantic city of some 17 million inhabitants would give itself over so completely to a sporting event.
Olympics minister Tessa Jowell recently said: “We have commissioned KPMG to do a report on the equestrian, shooting and basketball venues, looking at whether the Olympic experience and the legacy it will provide represents value for money.”
London came from behind to beat the favourites Paris and scoop the 30th Games; do we now admit that we can't afford it?
Beijing has set the bar high; so high, in fact, that London will get a crick in the neck just looking at it
Beijing has set the bar high; so high, in fact, that London will get a crick in the neck just looking at it. Typically, British Olympic chiefs have been slow to get out of their traps. They have not even started the hunt for someone to oversee the ceremony. I'll do it for you – after all, there's nothing much to do in the building industry at the moment and perhaps even less, if TJ gets her way.