Look, I dislike the IOC as much as the next rational person, and think the Olympics are a form of corporate imperialism, but the facts don't preclude me from admitting my feelings: the 2008 Olympics in Beijing were a lot of fun, and I'm kinda excited for it to come back. It'll be in 2022, when most of us will be DEAD, and it's the Winter Olympics, which Sochi probably ruined for everybody, but, you know, whatever. Beijing is getting the Olympics!
Time to meet the official Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics mascot – Nanjing LeLe, the meaty-tongued phallus.
According to the organizers of this August event, one of his favorite foods is duck blood and vermicelli soup, he’s a Sagittarius with Type O blood, and his least favorite thing to do is “play alone.”
Ready for another Olympics, Beijingers? This city's joint bid with Zhangjiakou (in neighboring Hebei province) for the 2022 Winter Games has come a long way since it was announced last November. Back then, we called Beijing's chances "slim," but look what's happened in the months since:
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 »