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Outside the Rings: Welcoming the world

Outside the Rings: Welcoming the world



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

The mountains heading into Beijing are a familiar sight to anyone from Utah. Flying into Beijing, the smog, and how friendly the people are.

The first question you might ask is, "Does Beijing have inversion problems like the Wasatch Mountains in the winter?"

The short answer is no.

There's not an inversion problem as much as it's a smog problem.

The smog is the very first thing you notice coming in Beijing.

It's hard to see anything without the smog dominating the scenery. We're told Beijing has beautiful mountain ranges in the distance, but with the smog, mountain tops are hidden.

As you get closer to Beijing you can start to make out the skyline.

However, once inside the terminal, which was built specifically for these games, it's easy to forget all about the smog because the people are so friendly.

The five Olympic mascots were dancing.

Olympic workers sang songs and were cheerful.

Even security guards managed to smile and say hello.

You could tell how important it is to China to open up to the rest of the world.

This terminal was built specifically for these Olympics.

Flying into Beijing, the smog, and how friendly the people are.

Of course, there's the process of checking passports, looking at proper documentation, and checking all our TV gear, but it's understandable in a country that isn't used to Western journalists.

Once onto the bus bringing us to out hotel, we noticed how quickly we could travel on the interstate.

That's because of the Olympic Only lane, much like the car pool lane on I-15.

Only drivers in vehicles on Olympic related business can use these lanes.

China wants to do it's best to make these games a success, and one of the first steps is to make foreigners feel welcome here.

Alex Cabrero

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