søndag 20. februar 2022

The Olympics was a success inside China. And that's the audience Beijing cares about

Heading into the Winter Olympics, there was much talk of two host cities -- one inside a tightly-sealed bubble where the Games would be held, and one outside, where daily life would go on as normal. But the past two weeks have also shown the world two very different Games: For China, Beijing 2022 was a resounding success that exceeded all expectations. To the rest of the world, it remained a deeply polarizing event, that projected not only China's rising power but also its growing assertiveness, ready to defy and challenge its critics.

In its meticulously managed "closed loop," the ubiquitous face masks, endless spraying of disinfectant and rigorous daily testing have paid-off. Infections brought into the country were swiftly identified and contained, allowing the Games to run largely free of Covid even as the Omicron variant raged around the world.

In the medal tables, Team China claimed nine golds and a total of 15 medals, delivering its best ever result at a Winter Olympics -- and ranking above the United States. The stellar performances of its new Olympic stars -- from freeski sensation Eileen Gu to snowboard prodigy Su Yiming -- captivated fans in the stands and across the country, drawing an outpouring of pride.