Not Olympiad in Mathematics ... or Computer Science ...
Today, Beijing announced a set of five mascots for the upcoming 2008 Olympics games. I think they took a non-modern design and looked quite traditionally Chinese. I don't think people will think they are COOL. They gave me a warm feeling although I believe not all people around the world will think they are adorable. But I chose to like them, :), simply because I love the city where I grew up and chose to be proud of things it tries its best to offer. Subjective, isn't it?
Anyway, this brought back some memories.
When Beijing applied for hosting 2000 Olympic games in 1993, I was in high school. We particpated in all kinds of activities in support of Beijing's application. As far as I can tell, everybody, at that time, was deeply motivated. [I heard the enthusiasm was not that high in 2001 when Beijing actually won. ] At one point in 1993, some rumors said that if Beijing won, the college graduates from major Beijing University in 1999 will be recruited by the local organization committee to be volunteers during the games. According to schedule, I was going to college in 1994 and I was applying for Tsinghua, which at that time still had 5-year undergraduate programs. Believe it or not, I got all excited about it, imagining that I would be part of the Olympic games. I can still get excited about Beijing and Olympics even though I think it is a little bit silly. I don't really know where the excitement comes from. Somehow, the education I received since I was little really got through, so that I love my country, my city and my Tsinghua (where was my home "town", and is my home in Beijing), for no significant logical reasons.
In 2001, I was doing an internship somewhere in New Jersey, when Beijing was chosen to host the 2008 Olympics. I was sitting in my cubical and watching online real-time text coverage. 5 seconds after the anouncement was made, another intern from China ran to my desk and said "have you known?" and I cheered under my breath, "YES!" We were the happiest people, at that moment, on that industrial looking floor. It seems to be such a long time ago.
I don't usually get sentimental about things. But I did today when reading the news release.
BTW, the Five Mascots are named "Beibei", "JingJing", "Huanhuan", "Yingying", "Nini". When reading together, "Bei", "Jing" "Huan" "Ying" "Ni" means "Beijing Welcomes You". Well, we, Chinese people, sometimes try too hard on "one stone" killing "multiple birds".