08.08.08 – A date that occurs once in a hundred years, and most of us will only experience it once in our life -times. As many (especially Chinese) believe that this was a very auspicious day, some chose to deliver their babies on this day. In Singapore, as many as 308 couples, had chosen to tie their knots on this day despite it being in the Hungry Ghost Month, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Singapore Press Holdings had also chosen this day to revamp The Straits Times, to give it a better look and richer content, both online and in print.

Oh yes, on 08.08.08, 8 more millionaires were created in Singapore! These were the coincidental lucky 8 who shared the 8-million dollars Toto top prize, a special Toto draw by Singapore Pools to mark this special day!

On the eve of 08.08.08, I had specially set my alarm clock to ring at 8:08am the next day although I don’t normally wake up this early on weekdays! DS had a good laugh when I showed him the alarm clock that morning after it rang. While at work, DS had specially sent out emails to some of his friends to wish them a great day! These were just our small gestures to add a little “flavour” to the day! 🙂

However, to us, it was the grand opening of the 29th Olympic in Beijing that made 08.08.08 a very, very special day! It was a day much awaited for by many around the world, and a day that China fulfilled its dream and delivered its promise for the 29th Olympic.

DS and I had never been enthusiastic about Olympic. The only time we had watched the broadcast of Olympic games was when Singapore’s paddler, Li Jiawi and shuttler, Ronaldo Susilo, played in the Athens 2004 Olympic. This time, for the first time, we watched the grand opening of the Olympic games. We were joined by our friend PC and my younger sister. Thanks to PC who has suggested watching the live broadcast together. 🙂

Well, DS and I think that the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 was really worth watching. Little did we expect it to be that spectacular! Digital technology showcase aside, the whole extravaganza was so well and impressively choreographed! Kudos to Zhang Yi Mou, the acclaimed Chinese movie director who masterminded the whole event! We were just so marveled by the ancient drum beats by 2008 performers at the start of the event. It was especially beautiful on high definition channel HD5.

We were thrilled to hear Sarah Brightman singing the Olympic theme song – “You and Me” – together with Chinese singer Liu Huan on top of a large globe. I don’t think anyone would expect the grand finale of the night – the lighting of Olympic cauldron – to be done in such a brilliant and awesome way! Li Ning, Chinese Gymnastic legend, run along the rim of the Bird’s Nest before lighting the cauldron and that was really out of this world!! How we wished we were there!

Here’s the the MTV of the Olympic theme song found on Youtube.

The last time we visited Beijing was in November 2006. Even though it was 21 months before the Olympic, a large variety of Olympic souvenirs were already on sale in many places. Of course, we did not miss the opportunity to buy some.

I also keep a Special Olympic Sports Edition Swatch watch from the 1996 Olympic even though it is already out of order. This is a watch that I specially asked my ex-Japanese colleague to bring back from Atlanta when he went to watch the Olympic games there in 1996. That year marked the 100th anniversary of Olympic.


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