Maybe it's just me, but as overwhelming as the opening ceremonies were, the closing ceremonies were that much underwhelming. Even the fireworks were less, in my opinion, than the Sydney games. The performers the closing ceremonies looked like they were just kind of going through the motions. (And actually, so did the performers in the opening ceremony.) Well, except Jackie Chan... but he always has a goofy, fun-loving grin on his face.
I watched a great deal of the Olympics (darn live streaming video on the Internet and gobs of cable channels). I watched more than I probably should have given I'm supposed to be dedicating my time to school... ah, well, the Olympics only happen every 4 years. (Okay, okay, every two years since they split them up after the 1992 games.) There was one thing I noticed through it all was a distinct lack of joy on the faces of the Chinese people I saw in the crowds. None of them looked like they were actually having fun.
Oh, there were exceptions to this of course, but for the most part, the smiles looked forced. Now, maybe it is a cultural thing and we Americans are a bit too exuberant at winning, but it wasn't just our athletes who looked really excited, and genuinely so, at winning medals. Still, the only real emotion I remember seeing was when the Chinese women's doubles team won gold in badminton. (I told you I watched too much of the Olympics.)