U.S. paper lauds Beijing Olympics as "triumph"

  2008-08-24 18:45:48 GMT    2008-08-25 02:45:48 (Beijing Time)    Xinhua

      LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing Olympics "were a triumph of the will for a people and a government determined to show their skill and confidence," the Los Angeles Times said on Sunday.

      "They were a triumph of the will for a people and a government determined to show their skill and confidence, as both athletes and organizers, to a world that once treated China as a weak, servile nation," the paper noted.

      "China won the most gold medals, hardly a surprise when a country of 1.3 billion people decides such a goal is important and commits enormous resources to achieving it," the paper said. "China also built sports venues that combined gargantuan scale and striking architecture in a way no previous Olympic host could afford.

      Doping never became the issue at the games, the paper said.

      International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge had predicted from 30 to 40 positives, based on purely mathematical projections of past results and increased numbers of tests.

      But as of Sunday, with analysis reports on the final five days' samples yet to come, there had been just six positives out of 4,600 tests during the Games, only two involving medalists, none of them gold medalists. There were 26 doping violations in 2004, including three gold medalists.

      "It is more difficult to cheat," Rogge was quoted as saying, noting that 39 other athletes were banned from competing in Beijing after being caught by pre-Olympic testing.

      The sky fell into the "blue" category, according to the measurements of air pollution, the paper said.

      Despite turning an eerie white and then a murky haze that hung over Beijing for a week, the sky actually went blue in the middle of the first week of competition and the sun came out most every other day, the paper said.

      "The Beijing Olympics wound up looking as most expected," the paper concluded.