chapter  8
Framing China and the world through the Olympic opening ceremonies, 1984–2008
ByLimin Liang
Pages 14

The Olympic Games is a classic ritual event that illustrates how liminality is dealt with in

human society. Intended to be a time-out from ordinary life, the two-week long event

every four years celebrates physical and moral excellence as it is embodied in athletes.

During the Games, the usual political and economic structures that divide the world are

supposed to be forgotten. The Games can be seen as a version of ‘communitas’, a stage of

human existence that is ‘between and betwixt.’