The Games have begun (well they began on Wednesday with the women's football, but hey). It was fun watching the men's road race on Saturday afternoon, with sections of the Great Wall as a backdrop, and in some cases, as the track. It would have been nicer, of course, if the security people had allowed any spectators to be present at the finish line.
Congratulations, in any case, to Samuel Sanchez, who pedalled for 6 hours 23 minutes through a smoggy, humid Beijing afternoon.
It was a bit of a sombre day however, with hostilities between Russia and Georgia (real, not sporting) getting quite nasty. (Russia Today leaves you in no doubt who they believe is to blame, and leaves you wishing for an English-language Georgian TV news channel.) GW Bush has stated that Georgia's "territorial integrity must be respected". He must quietly be wondering if Georgia falls, will Russian tanks roll on into Alabama?
Also disturbing, albeit seemingly unrelated to the Olympics, was the bizarre murder of the father-in-law of the US volleyball coach whilst sightseeing. It's the sort of tourist murder that makes international headlines regardless of the occasion. But it begs the question, how did this happen in the totalitarian state that is China? Is the People's Republic really a dangerous place for your average apolitical tourist?
And to show even further how dodgy things are in Beijing for foreigners despite the massive security, the ABC's Steve Robilliard, on secondment to TVNZ for the Olympics, but bashed up by a drunk while walking back to his hotel on Friday night.
Finally, NBC suits will be slapping themselves on the back after their 12-hour-delayed replay of the Opening Ceremony was watched by 34.2 million viewers in the US (Athens opening 25.4 mil, Sydney 27.3 mil). Yes, it justifies their decision to replay the event, especially with the word of mouth on just how bloody good Zhang Yimou's spectacle really was. But does really excuse them for not showing the event live at 8am that morning? How many people would have doubled up for a second look on Friday night? Advertising dollars rule the Earth.
(I must be getting old. I feel the need for some explanatory notes to the title of this post. I'll put it in the comments shortly.)