Olympic host cities share their culture with the world - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Olympic host cities share their culture with the world

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Friday the London 2012 Olympic Games begin with the opening ceremonies. It is a chance for the world to come together and experience the culture of the United Kingdom. In 2008 I experienced the culture of China while working at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Beijing Huan Ying Ni. It means "Beijing welcomes you." That was the official greeting, song and the basis for the five Olympic mascots, known collectively as Fuwa. There's such great and rich history in Beijing. I lived there for six weeks before the Olympic games started. I explored as much of the massive city as possible. The Great Wall fascinated me. I climbed the relatively easy portion, but still it was difficult for some. Tienanmen Square is at the center of Beijing, another popular spot to visit, filled with history, some of it harsh. I experienced more up-close culture at the Summer Palace, the largest royal park in China. Parks such as Beihei gave me the chance to meet the locals. We shared a mutual curiosity. Soon the Olympics began, and on cue the sky turned from smog to sun. Before you could look straight up at the sun like it was the moon. Talking with local citizens and athletes from all over the world, I came to understand the host Olympic city stood by Beijing Huan Ying Ni.