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Monday, June 16, 2008
Updated: August 5, 4:27 PM ET

"There's something on the wing! I mean, that sign!"

[Ed.'s Note: This is the first of Mag contributor Anthony Tao's weekly reports from Beijing as we count down to the start to the Olympic Games on Aug. 8.] On July 13, 2001, the day Beijing won the rights to host the Olympic Games, some 200,000 people converged on Tiananmen Square to celebrate. This moment was, at last, China's chance to show off its 5,000-year-old culture and history, and enter the global community's inner circle. But somewhere along the way, the Chinese people began accepting the ubiquitous Olympics hype as just another facet of everyday life, leaving us to make sense of it all.