For the last 38 years of Hong Kong's existence as a British colony, a very British-looking flag flew over the city, featuring a cartoonish lion/dragon insignia and some rather ugly red text (HONG KONG) on yellow background. That flag was retired on July 1, 1997, after the handover ceremony, in favor of a red flag featuring a white five-petal bauhinia flower.
Someone in Sochi didn't get the memo.
China is officially (politically, that is) an enthusiastic supporter of the Sochi Games, which is why Chinese athletes walked out at the opening ceremony waving both Chinese and Russian flags. To no one's surprise, then, the pro-government media here is peeved by all the negative coverage in "Western media." Speaking for them all, Global Times has just published an editorial headlined, "Booing Sochi only shows West's bigotry."
The first event of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia begins in about twelve hours, with the opening ceremony happening on Friday at 8 pm Sochi time (midnight for those in China). By now you've probably already decided to watch on the decent chance that it becomes a delightful disaster, but lost in all the stories about stray dogs, toilets, substandard facilities and Potemkin villages is the fact that sports will be on display.
China wants the Olympics again. Beijing and Zhangjiakou submitted a formal nomination letter to the IOC on Sunday to joint host the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to Xinhua. If chosen -- a decision should come in 2015 -- Beijing would be the first city to have hosted a Summer and Winter Games.
Global Times found a "scholar living in Japan" to write about Japan's misplaced "Olympics fever" this week, presumably because Global Times writing that editorial itself would have been a bit too ironic, a bit too laughable for even Global Times. Quick excerpt from Jiao Kun's piece, published yesterday:
Much hubbub surrounded 19-year-old weightlifter Zulfiya Chinshanlo’s gold-medal win in London this summer, as it wasn’t exactly clear which country she was actually from, Kazakhstan or China. Both nations claimed her — “Chinshanlo’s Olympic page cites her birthplace as Almaty, Kazakhstan, and claims she speaks both Russian and Kazakh,” according to The Atlantic, while Xinhua stated (paraphrased by CNN)... Read more »
By Beijing Cream Let’s talk about journalism and the Olympics. No, not the complete indifference given to China’s 96 Paralympics gold medals, but a more familiar problem: plagiarism. A former senior journalist at the Global Times is probably still wondering what the hell hit her, after being caught lifting material and inventing quotes – including a... Read more »
Something called the “National Peasants’ Games” — the 7th edition, in fact — is currently being held in Nanyang, Henan province, which People’s Daily Online describes as a “quadrennial multi- “in which sport event… in which competitors from among the country’s rural residents take part in sports, both conventional, including basketball, athletics, table tennis, shooting,... Read more »
Picture by Kevin Reitz Just like that, the Olympics are over. As we look back, here’s our list of the 10 most noteworthy China-related stories from the London Games. 1. Liu Xiang fails. Crumbled in a heap. CCTV commentators weren’t sure how to react, so one of them cried. Sports broadcast journalism has rarely been... Read more »
Part of Nike’s “Live the Greatness” campaign (“Who says the toughest opponent isn’t the best teammate”), via cfensi As track and field takes center stage in London, a reminder that some exciting team sports will be wrapping up soon, including men’s soccer (Mexico vs. Brazil final tomorrow, though South Korea vs. Japan for the bronze... Read more »
UPDATE, 10:34 am: There’s now video! Embedded after the jump. It features snippets of the original broadcast’s worst-in-the-world CCTV commentators, too. China is on fire with its sports GIFs this Olympics. Other examples: The worst call you’ll ever see on the basketball court Liz Cambage becomes first woman to dunk in the Olympics Sun Yang breathes... Read more »
In an article published Saturday in the Sydney Morning Herald, South African Cameron van der Burgh admitted to cheating in his world-record-setting swim in the 100-meter breaststroke. Swimmers are only allowed one dolphin kick after entering the water and one kick after the turn, but van der Burgh copped to taking multiple — because “every swimmer does that,” he... Read more »
Since becoming an Olympic discipline in 1988, China has won 23 of the 27 possible gold medals in ping pong, and it’ll probably be 24 of 28 after tonight when the heavily favored team of Zhang Jike, Wang Hao and Ma Long gets done with Japan South Korea in the men’s team final, which begins at 10:30... Read more »
The Brand Channel has a very interesting article about how Liu Xiang’s inability to clear any hurdles in London will affect his ability to sell merchandise, specifically looking at how his sponsors have rushed to re-spin the message on the heels (no pun intended… wait, pun intended) of his crash-out yesterday. Among the noteworthy elements... Read more »
Journalists are fed a lot of crap by the world. Specifically by public relations flacks and sources, but really, the world at large, because we’re surrounded by crap, by fetid logs of horse and other rancid mammalian shit dripping with stupidity and awfulness. It takes a decent journalist to filter that shit and present it... Read more »
What the hell did we watch? Why didn't someone help Liu Xiang up? Why was he left hopping around on one foot like an inspirational failure?
Liu Xiang was in the sixth heat of the preliminaries in the 110-meter hurdles, and on his first leap his left foot collided with the hurdle, sending him down. He landed awkwardly, tumbled and tumbled, and the CCTV commentators emitted a scream and then went speechless for the next five seconds.
Was a note proving injury all that was required to get the world’s No. 1 badminton team of Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli reinstated after their high-profile disqualification for match-fixing (and the DQs of three other teams)? I’ve emailed Thomas Lund, email@example.com, and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to find out, and will report back if... Read more »
China’s Lin Dan beat Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 earlier today, becoming the first person to repeat as Olympic men’s badminton champion (he also beat Lee in the 2008 finals). That in itself could establish him as the best male badminton player of all time, but then you consider his 48 career titles, including four... Read more »