Changing China

Giant on the move

Some sounds are there to be savoured

August 24, 2008

headers and volleysSimon Denyer blogged this week about the cheesy American rock music that has drowned out so many moments of quiet at these Games. What’s so wrong with the sound of silence, he asked?

Well, there are some sounds at the Games that have been worth hearing, especially if you’ve been lucky enough to get as close to the action as we have.

It’s not so much the roar of the crowds that took me by surprise. Having attended many a basketball and American football game, that was nothing new — though the roar of ”Go China” at some of the Olympics events was truly impressive.

What I’m talking about are the sounds of some of the sports I’ve never before had the chance to witness up close at such a high level of performance.

The plunk of a perfectly executed dive from the 10 metre platform. The hum of cyclists flying round the track at the velodrome, their rubber tires squeaking softly against the wood. The thump of a volleyball slamming against the court after a thunderous spike by one of the best players in the world.

These are sounds to be savoured. And that’s why it’ll never be better on TV.

PHOTO: The ball passes in front of Kimberly Glass of the U.S.during their women’s semi-final volleyball match against Cuba at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

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