Olympic news is overwhelming the global media, bringing cheer to people all over the world. In China, it is especially the case. Chinese gold medalist Sun Yang sent a simple Weibo post after winning men's 400m freestyle final: "I made it. I won! Thanks for your support!" It has been forwarded over 240,000 times. Simple yet passionate joy fills all kinds of opinion forums.
China has gone through many changes since the 2008 Olympic Games, the most prominent being the diversification of opinion. The public is more open and direct in its demands. A unified view once dominating society has disappeared in many fields, replaced by clamorous voices reflecting different opinions. But there are also things that remain unchanged in this country, seen through people's attitudes to the Olympic Games.
It is still a country that can find simple happiness. Though patriotism has been ridiculed on the Internet, it is still a pure feeling and can be quite prevalent given the right reason.
Chinese society is maturing. Competing for success is encouraged. Failure is also met with more sympathy and acceptance. Athletes are showing more of their own personalities whether they win their matches or not. Discussions on athletes' post-match remarks have almost disappeared. In short, incidents that may unnerve Chinese in public occasions are being reduced.
The Olympic Games is a repetitive event in the West. But to Chinese, it is a place to compare itself with the world. On this platform China has been expanding its vision and building confidence. The public's comments on the London Games' opening ceremony varied quite a lot, ranging from admiration to contempt. Regardless of the opinions, Chinese are more at ease at events like this.
The Olympic Games is a test of China's integration into the world. From the 1984 Los Angeles Games, when China returned to the event, to being the sports power of today, China has been fully accepted by the Olympic community. The Games is more than a sports event. It is also a standard under which China clearly sees itself moving closer to the rest of the world.
China still has many facets that are different from the West. These differences, however, will not block its further integration into the world. The world is not Western-dominated, and integration doesn't mean being assimilated. Differences sometimes led to clashes, but throughout history, differences have generally been accepted and tolerated.