China received widespread praise for organizing the games, which formally ended Wednesday with the Paralympics’ closing ceremony.
Even before then, however, reality reasserted itself with the collapse earlier this month at an illegal mine waste dump that killed at least 259 people and forced the resignation of a provincial governor. Since then, a product safety scandal has roiled the nation, with contaminated milk powder causing the death of three infants and sickening more than 6,200 others.
Both crises point to underlying systemic weaknesses that the Olympics did little to eliminate, despite a massive effort to clean up Beijing’s polluted air, boost security and ensure smooth logistics.
See also: After the Olympics, will China crack? from the Guardian.