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An unforgettable night in Beijing
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As the parade of athletes began, we were able to tell where others in the restaurant were from. Many cheers rang out for the various African countries, a few for the European countries, and there was a large round of applause for Spain. Then came the United States, and the students in my group were on our feet screaming and clapping. We found out that there were quite a few Americans in the restaurant and they joined us in our revelry. We broke out into a chant of U S A as the large group of athletes marched into the stadium.
Finally we were nearing the end of the alphabet and we all know that the host country marches last. As China marched onto the field, the entire restaurant broke out into screams and cheers. The waiters had whistles they were blowing and the kitchen employees emerged drumming on pots. This was an amazing show of nationality and I was glad to see how excited and proud the Chinese were for their Olympians.
Then came the lighting of the Olympic torch, the moment we were all waiting for. No one knew who was going to be carrying the torch, how the torch was being lit, or even where it was in the stadium. We were then treated to one of the most amazing torch lightings that I have ever seen. The Olympic organizers definitely outdid themselves. More cheers erupted when this event unfolded and this was definitely the loudest restaurant I have ever been in. I am so glad we decided to go to Hard Rock Café to watch the Opening Ceremonies. We were treated to great food and an even better atmosphere, and a chance to watch Beijing make Olympic history.

(china.org.cn August 17, 2008)
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