Evan Osnos of the Chicago Tribune looks at various scenarios affecting the potential fall-out from the Olympics:
In the weeks to come, these factors are likely to congeal into one of two scenarios: China recovers from the first-day tragedy to rack up medals, keeps other spectators safe and happy and closes the Olympics with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Or Chinese athletes do their best under intense pressure, controversies simmer over safety, pollution and human rights, and China closes the Olympics under a cloud of bitterness and confusion.
Either version — or some combination, more likely — will have broad consequences for the U.S. and other countries. How China feels about itself, and how the world feels about China, when the Games conclude could shape Beijing’s posture on human rights, climate change and other international issues.