Kenyans salute China as Olympic Games ends

  2008-08-25 01:41:19 GMT    2008-08-25 09:41:19 (Beijing Time)    Xinhua

      By Daniel Ooko

      NAIROBI, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenyans have saluted China for the excellent organization of the 16-day Beijing Olympic Games which concluded on Sunday night.

      The Beijing's dramatic farewell to the 29th Summer Games of the modern Olympiad got under way with a magnificent firework display and an amazing display of dancing and drumming.

      Many Kenyans including dozens of English Premier League soccer fans had to suspend their normal programs to have a glimpse of the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, through their TV sets to watch the lavish extravaganza which was beamed live from Beijing.

      "It was truly the best Olympic in history. The true spirit of the Olympic Games was captured in spirit and in practice. It went over and above the skeptics who attempted to drag politics into the noble sports disciplines. Beijing remains a new standard by which future Olympic Games would be judged," said the 34-year-old Kennedy Oluoch from Kakamega, western Kenya.

      "The closing ceremony was an exposition of China's best talents, the sheer show of China's orient at its best. The fireworks, signifying the Olympic logo is a first for China and a show of China's advancement in creativity. It was truly, a thrilling sight to behold, at the heart of China."

      The ambiance in the Bird's Nest was festive as torrents of fireworks burst from its top rim to begin the two-hour closing ceremony.

      Dozens of blissfully dressed dancers, acrobats and drummers swirled onto the field after an army band played the Chinese national anthem to majestically show Chinese artistry and culture, a situation which moved Benson Kamau, a sports fan from central Kenya.

      "I had to postpone watching English Premier League to watch the great, glittering party which also featured some firework displays, " said the 60-year-old Kamau.

      "I was moved by the Chinese song 'Forever Friends'. The closing ceremony was fantastic and I don't think Britain will match such Chinese artistry come 2012 when it comes to organization."

      Kamau said the two-hour show, which has the theme of "harmony, friendship and joy", will remain in his mind forever.

      The closing ceremony included a parade of the athletes and a special segment in which London, the next host of the Olympics in 2012.

      "The closing ceremony met the world expectations as a spectacular event in its own right. Firework displays and costume music drummers were very fascinating. The sound system was second to none. Chinese have set a high standard for those who will be bidding to host Olympic Games in future," said Francis Odero from Kisumu, west Kenya.

      For Joseph Opiyo who watched the closing ceremony in his house in Nairobi, the capital, "it was an "entertainment spectacular".

      "The IOC organizing committee and the Chinese people deserve a thumps up," said the 32-year-old researcher.

      Some Kenyans said the closing ceremony was a more celebratory affair, as exuberant athletes, dancers and musicians got into the party spirit.

      "The closing ceremony was very exciting. I was terribly moved by the way they presented medals to the marathon winners particularly when our Kenyan national anthem was being sung with our flag flying over the field," said Prisca Angayo from the western town of Nakuru.

      "I think what I saw during the opening and closing ceremony will be replicated in the next Olympic Games. An eight-minute segment for London 2012 Olympics, which featured a double-decker bus christened London-Beijing-London and among others football icon David Beckham, really impressed me --Kudos China," said the 34-year-old medical practitioner.

      The two-hour "great, glittering party" for the record 11,249 athletes from 204 countries featured an eight-minute firework, various Chinese features and the theme song "Forever Friends" which commentators said was co-written by Italian and Chinese musicians.

      "The glittering closing ceremony inside Beijing 's Bird's Nest Stadium was very exciting. Spectacular fireworks which kicked off the proceedings and a theatrical drumming and dancing display inside the stadium recalled the opening ceremony," said Samuel Kumba who watched the closing ceremony in a popular Nairobi pub.

      "It has been a more celebratory affair as exuberant athletes, dancers and musicians got into the spirit. The sporting action has been enthralling and the closing is fantastic. What else you expect to get from Chinese if not what has displayed to the world during the opening and closing ceremony?" wondered Kumba.