Security strict but not stifling at Olympics inauguralAugust 8th, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Aug 8 (IANS) The security was omnipresent at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Yet it was not stifling, to say the least. The organisers never left anything to chance, to the extent that wireless Internet connections too were jammed for the duration of the gala opening ceremony. The media was warned in advance about the non-availability of wireless services, though broadband was made available, but at exorbitant rates.
Entry and exit points were manned carefully and yet at no point did it seem obtrusive or obstructive. Volunteers placed at virtually every conceivable point made movement easy and smooth.
The security very clearly had been instructed to be strict and at the same time be polite and not heavy handed.
While there was security all around, movement within the stadium or within designated areas for various card and ticket holders made it a pleasurable evening, as nearly 91,000 people packing the newly-constructed National Stadium - or Bird’s Nest - enjoyed the three-and-half-hour programme, which was replete with dream sequences.
It was a blend of traditional Chinese culture with images of rapidly modernizing China, which is now a Superpower in every sense of the word.
Through the day, which was declared a national holiday, traffic was strictly regulated and entry points to various strategic areas monitored.
Bus routes had carefully been drawn and VIP movement - what with some 80 presidents, prime ministers and powerful leaders in attendance - was smooth, without hindering others.
Even the movement of journalists and general traffic continued in so planned a fashion that it hardly seemed to cause problems and there were few, if any, reports of traffic snarl-ups.
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