China has dreamed of hosting the Olympics for a century, but what will the Beijing Games mean for this Western cultural institution?
In July 2008, the Olympic torch will arrive in Beijing, China, for what is only the third summer games to be held outside the Western Hemisphere in the modern Olympics’ 110-year history, after the Tokyo Olympic Games (1964) and the Seoul Olympic Games (1988). The 2008 Olympic Games will be hosted by China, the least Westernized nation in the world yet to host this most important of international sports events, exactly 100 years after Chinese patriots first exhorted the nation to strive for Olympic achievement with three questions: When will China be able to send a winning athlete to the Olympic contests? When will China be able to send a winning team to the Olympic contests? And when will China be able to invite all the world to come to Beijing for an International Olympic contest?