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Some interesting comments ... I find myself asking the question "what would de Coubertin have thought of the Beijing opening ceremonies?" Would he see it as a continuation of his vision, or as a corrupted version of it? It's not that difficult for me to see the current incarnation of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies as just a nationalistic advertisement sponsored by the hosting nation, but perhaps the valuable ritual elements are still embedded in that advertisement in a way that still makes the whole thing worthwhile...

apples