The rise of China's capital city may be the story of a new era. And it isn't over yet
Though far more athletes competed at the Asian Games, India's Commonwealth Games were seen as an international debut similar to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Gloomy forecasts of smog, terrorism, and rude hosts all but evaporated during the 17-day sports extravaganza, though concern remained about human rights.
Almost 300,000 migrant workers who constructed Olympics sites and infrastructure were driven out of Beijing before the Games. Now, some are returning to the Bird’s Nest to enjoy their handiwork.
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang withdrew from competition today in a huge blow to the host nation. But many athletes say such disappointments spur dedication – and successful comebacks.
Badminton player Lin Dan and diver Guo Jingjing stand out – both as gold medalists and as rebels in a sports system specifically designed to avoid such things.
The Olympic Games are entering an era of unprecedented equality among nations.