In an exclusive discussion with Inside the Games bloggers(http://www.insidethegames.com/show-news.php?id=3055), the IOC Jacques Rogge is basking in the goodwill and growing value of the Olympic movement, what a difference one hundred and fourteen years make, when a Greek businessman gave $1.4 million of his own money to build the Olympic stadium in Athens...
Jacques Rogge is the best thing to come the IOC way since, well, as some say, the invention of sliced bread. His thoughtful approach to rebuilding the reputation of the IOC, his swift response to suggestions of impropriety in the previous Olympic choices and his outspoken comments on the dangers of drugs in sport and how drug cheaters are hurting the Olympic movement is a public relation managers' dream. The point is, Rogge is quite serious about all of the above. His only misstep, in my mind, so far, has been the IOC's missteps on relations between the IOC, Beijing 2008 LOC and the world media.
Three days before I leave for Beijing, my belief is the Beijing will be a huge success for all involved. The Beijing LOC will beam to the world a wonderful opening ceremony, over five billion people will see the Games on television, broadband and wifi. China will be opened to the world like never before.
While the Beijing LOC will effectively control most protests during the Olympics, the change in their people, the need for change with a rising middle class and the conversations about Tibet, more freedom of communication in China are about to begin and no external instigator could do the changes or dream of the changes that will come to the Chinese mainland.
The world is coming to Beijing, and the price will be a discussion of new ideas, new freedoms and meetings of people from all over the world with average Chinese. That is the change that will be revolutionary. Kids meeting in a Starbucks. A Chinese teenager trying their English out on an American teenager.
Instead of reading the little red book of Mao, we all should be reading the Gutenberg Galaxy, by Marshal McLuhan, written nearly forty years ago. McLuhan understood the every expanding media world, or as I call it, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The democratization of the world wide web means that, even with jamming equipment, the word on the good, the amazing and the not so amazing will get out on Beijing.
The value of the Olympics, as Jacques Rogge has said, will continue to grow. The addition of a Youth Games in 2010, will be well received. Rogge has been right so far, his careful guardianship of the Games is putting the Olympic movement in a higher regard and higher footprint than in past years. Whether one stands for or against the games going to Beijing, they are there and will be successful, and China, will, once again, be open to the world and the world, whether China likes it or not, will be open to
$7 billion market value for the Olympic movement? I wonder how Baron Pierre de Coubertin would see the growth in his Olympic notion..