Olympic Spirit Hits Beijing

If you are in Beijing and hadn’t gotten into the Olympic spirit before this Monday, you couldn’t help but get into it then. Both NBC and CNN began their Olympic coverage with Matt Lauer conducting interviews on the Great Wall and John Vause and Anjali Rao leading Countdown Beijing.  Meanwhile, United, Continental, Lufthansa and dozens of other airlines began delivering scores of athletes, members of the press and spectators, many of them first-time visitors to Beijing and China. I’ve never seen so many flash bulbs going off at the airport.

I had two major events on Monday that brightened my day and put me into full Olympic mode. Sara and Douglas, my son and daughter, arrived after a 13 hour flight from Newark with two year old grandson Bobby and six month old granddaughter Ellie in tow. Sara’s husband, Bob, will be joining us on Saturday, and with my youngest daughter, Libby, already in town, it will be the first time that we have all been together in China. Bobby looked like an Olympic athlete as he sprinted towards us after clearing Customs. After only one day, he is already making more progress on the language than I have in fifteen years. He has “Nihao” down perfectly!

China Daily also chose Monday to run a three piece, full page feature on me on the back page of the Business Section. Diao Ying interviewed me in June right after the Chinese version of my book was launched, but China Daily held off running the article until now. Their timing could not have been better from my point of view.

In addition to the main article “Going Local” where they noted my predilection for baijiu and rabbit ear, they ran a section called “Tips from Jack Perkowski on doing business in China” and another on the “Tough Lessons” I have learned in China, focusing on the three chapters in my book where I discussed management transitions in Anhui, Langfang and Hengyang.

All in all, a pretty good start to the week and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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