I’m kind of surprised how calm people seem to be over here. Maybe I was thinking I’d see hordes of people jumping and shouting while waving their country’s flag, but everyone here is too polite for that. Maybe they just save that for when they are in the venue, watching an event. Or maybe it’s because despite what some people say, security here is tight and could be making people nervous before entering their venue. Security may be lax if you are running for president but not for everyone else. Trust me.
My favorite moment today came when I really needed it most. I was sitting at Potters Field near City Hall where a large screen was showing the men’s 400m freestyle and everyone was, as usual here, being very polite and giving each swimmer little golf claps. There was one person who I didn’t notice at first because she seemed almost embarrassed to be holding her Chinese flag. Not because of the flag but because she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. When the race started, she would cheer for Sun Yang of China, then mellow out a little. She later told me she didn’t want to block the view of the people behind her.
Then, the unexpected started to happen … Sun Yang was winning … easily. No Chinese swimmer had ever won gold before. She was getting more and more excited and then he won.
It was about as excited as she would get, but it made me smile.