I am very impressed with China. Seriously. The Chinese are indeed an extremely driven and motivated nation that can achieve anything once they put their heart to it.

Take the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 as an example. Firstly, the opening ceremony was just spectacular leaving many of us speechless with awe. The running of the games were also smooth overall despite some complaints. The closing ceremony today ended the 16-day extravaganza with a big bang.

But most importantly, China raked in 51 gold medals this year and their closest competitor was USA who tallied 36 gold medals. In Athens 2004, USA was the leader of the pack with also 36 gold medals. China was only a close second with 32 gold medals then.

So can you imagine how much hard work it took for the Chinese to make such vast improvements? It must have taken a whole nation’s cooperation to run such a large-scale event smoothly and also dominate it.

I also watched the documentary “Mad about English” which captures part of China’s journey to become a nation worthy of hosting the Olympics. The Chinese people were taking the English language seriously and I was most impressed with the drive and passion that they had in learning the language. Some in fact, were speaking more fluently and coherently than Singaporeans. (no lahs, lehs or lohs) Young children, elderly people, taxi drivers and chinese physicians were all committed to speaking good English.

The Beijing Olympics was a chance for China to show the world what they are capable of. They certainly proved that they are a country that has great potential and talent. Can Singapore also step up its game in 2010? Let’s commit ourselves to making it a show to remember.

Here’s an interesting article that discusses China’s success in the Olympics.