I have been watching the parade of nations for the opening of these 2008 Olympic games held in Beijing, China. I enjoy the colorful costumes and the realization that Myanmar sent a team, so did North Korea, Vanuatu, Iraq, Afghanistan, and dozens of other countries where politics, finances and facilities make sportsmanship hard to come by. Some nations sent teams, with as few as one member and without any chance of winning a medal, just to be a part of the world’s arena. I forget how important the Olympics really are.
During the U.S. telecast, Bob Costas, a popular announcer for NBC suggested this may be the “most important event in the history of modern China.” I don’t know if this is true, but it is truly a great reminder that we can all get along and that a country that was once in turmoil in the courts of public opinion is now hosting the world’s biggest event.
I know that there are problems with the Olympics with protesters and politics and steroids sometimes taking the center stage, but at the end of the day, it is a rare opportunity to see nearly every nation in the entire world represented (I think Brunei dropped out at the last second) and people from all walks of life partnering in an event toward unity and putting aside differences. On a personal level, I get to see all the flags of the world at one time and can get reminded that I need to put together a new list of places I want to visit next.
In the spirit of the Olympics, we at In The Know Traveler have decided to offer travel and news information on every country in the world. While we recognize that not every destination will have lots of information, but it is our aim to provide something useful for every traveler in the world, no matter where in the world their travels take them.
We will have to add another 70 or so countries to our pages and the upgrade will likely take a few months, we think it will be worth it in the long run. Until then, enjoy the Olympics.