For the many months before the trip, we said we were going to China this summer. The first question was: Are you going to the Olympics? Our answer was invariably, "No, by the time the Olympics start, we will be 3000 miles away in the farthest point of China from Beijing, getting ready to leave for Kyrgyzstan."
We need to amend that answer. The Olympics are everywhere. Every town has the parks and signage festoons with the five relentlessly cute pandoid figures of the Olympic mascots - BeiBei, YingYing, HuanHuan, JingJing, and NiNi. The TV stations have been broadcasting something to do with the Olympics 24/7 on nearly every channel (except for those channels with old American movies, and those channels doing educational programming).
Yes, we went to the Olympics. We just weren't in Beijing on August 8, and didn't have any tickets to the events.
PS: After we wrote this, we saw on TV that two pandas were born and were named after two of the mascots. This, by the way, is not new. Our Chinese guide on our tour was born in 1957 and given the Chinese name for Sputnik.