Surrounding the parade was of course thousands and thousands of spectators. I've taken up a new sport here in Beijing; photographing people posting for someone else's photos. No one minds having their photo taken, and in fact as a white westerner I've been asked to pose for countless photos—or even more often, spotted a camera slyly pointed in my direction! Parents are thrilled to have their children photographed, and every camera is met with a smile and a wave. I prefer the moments before they know I'm shooting, so that's what you'll see here (and many more in the gallery).
Of course it's not just the Chinese that are filling the park. I've seen people from so many nations, it really is a wonderful, beautiful site. The Olympics is every country at war and in love at the same time.
We're all competing viciously for those top three awards in every category, yet the friendship and camaraderie between nations and people is overflowing. (I joked at one point in a basketball game of USA v. Korea that there were clearly more Koreans than Americans in the audience by sheer volume of cheering, but the truth is that even the Koreans were cheering the Americans when they'd score. It was wonderful).