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Security Measures Surrounding the 2008 Olympic Games

As athletes strive for the Olympic Gold this summer in London, Anthropology News takes an anthropological look into the Games.

Kevin Carrico reflects on the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in his article Celebration and Security. He was studying in China when the International Olympic Committee announced the host city of the 2008 Games. Carrico returns to China in 2008 to observe the Olympic experience for local Chinese outside of Beijing. The outcome of such research is surprising. Here is an excerpt:

Photo courtesy Kevin Carrico

In the summer of 2001, when the International Olympic Committee named the Chinese capital Beijing as the host for the 2008 Olympics, I was studying in the former southern capital of Nanjing. Despite marked geographical and temporal distance from the event, excitement and celebration reigned that July evening. Crowds cheered before televisions broadcasting the news live, drivers honked their horns in celebration, bar patrons engaged in repeated calls of “bottoms up (gan bei),” and acquaintances and friends repeatedly asked, “did you hear?” The geographical and historical gap between the two cities was sutured by a manufactured intimacy seemingly encompassing “China” as a whole, while the temporal gap was sutured by anticipation and already rapidly-growing expectations. Acquaintances, seemingly unfulfilled by the present moment, repeatedly encouraged me, “you’ll have to come back in 2008!”

Read the entire article on Anthropology News.

Read more Olympic articles in the new online summer edition of Anthropology News.


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