Out of 210,00 proposed slogans for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this is the best the event’s organizers could come up with: “One World, One Dream.” The slogan was announced Sunday during a nationally televised extravaganza at Beijing’s Workers Stadium that featured “breakdancers, basketball players performing with a military band, and television celebrities,” according to the Associated Press. The slogan replaced the previous “New Beijing, Great Olympics” and, according to state news service Xinhua was decided upon only after many rounds of “selection and revision by experts in fields like Olympics, sociology, sports, culture and language.”
“The slogan embodies the wisdom of hundreds of thousands of people,” Xinhua quoted Liu Qi, President of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games, as saying. “It conveys the noble ideal of people in Beijing as well as in China to share their civilization and create a bright future hand in hand with people from the rest of the world.”
Xinhua also quoted someone named George Hirthler, “who has served as lead writer or communications strategist for seven international Olympic bid campaigns.” He said: “While the phrase is simple, it is also profound. While it is personal, it is also universal. The repetition of one makes it easy to remember.” The official Beijing 2008 website was even more hyperbolic: “One world, One dream. In the coming years, even for decades to come, the four simple English words will be closely, unmistakably linked to the Summer Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games that Beijing will be hosting in 2008.”
Shanghaiist doesn’t quite get what all the fuss is about. Despite the phrase’s likely unintentional imperialist undertones hinting of China’s inevitable global domination, “One World, One Dream” just isn’t that original. It’s been used by fringe political parties, a Christian musician in Australia, a community fundraising company, an 80s power pop band and some lady in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.