Giant on the move
The Olympic basketball match between China and the United States just ended with the U.S. pulling away to win 101-70 in what they say was the most-watched event sporting event in China’s history.
It’ll be no surprise if the estimates are right and a billion or so people around the world were tuned in to watch what was after all an irresistible contest – a meeting between the “Reds” and the “Red-White-and-Blues” and one laden with symbols.
Given the circumstances it was truly more than just a game — and I found myself wondering what James Naismith, who invented basketball in 1891 by putting up two peach baskets, would have thought had he been here too.
I had a great seat, not all that far from where U.S. President George W. Bush was watching, and a few rows over from actress Glenn Close, and even though I’m an American — and an avid follower of Olympic basketball ever since the United States got robbed by the Soviet Union in the electrifying final of the 1972 Munich Olympics — I found myself “oohing” and “aahing” like everyone else.
They walked for hundreds of miles, many dying on the way of starvation and illness. Others were eaten by lions. But many survived, ending up in refugee camps in the near-desert plains of northern Kenya.