I have been keeping quiet about the Olympics on the blog for a reason. I really didn’t want to make any judgements or comments about the games or the Chinese until I had enough time to really think about it.
Firstly, I think that the Chinese have really managed to pull off quite the show, if you watch the games from a strictly NBC perspective. There have been a lot of different things happening with the Olympics that beg investigation, yet NBC is probably not going to lead these discussions because they have so much at stake with the coverage.
Here is a short list of issues:
1. The opening ceremonies were doctored slightly to give a more impressive feeling overall. I find this to be interesting as the computer imaging didn’t really need to happen, but the Chinese were sure to go as over the top as possible.
2. The gymnastics controversy–the Chinese gymnasts are suppose to be 16 in order to compete in the events, but there are a lot of questions as to the passports that they provided to prove their age. I can tell you from experience–the Chinese passport is not exactly one of the more legitmate documents out there. I do not understand why there is not further investigation into this.
3. The ugly duckling scenerio: Not allowing the girl with most beautiful voice in the world to sing her own piece of work is just embarrassing, but so Chinese–why? This is all about image–the Chinese are hell bent on making sure that the west doesn’t see behind the red curtain and the easiest way to do that is to make everything as beautiful as possible.
4. China has 1% of its annual GPD on the games–thats 40-60 billion dollars on these games! It is also important to note that the Government does not spend nearly that much on education or health care for the 1.3 billion people it has in it country.
5. Attendance of the games: Are you like me and wondering exactly why the stands at most sporting events are so ill attended? Check out this link:
6. World shattering records: Ok, give it up for Phelps, who shattered the previous records of Spitz, but I keep wondering, how can this Olympics be the one that smashes so many records in so many different sports? By the time that this thing is over this will be the most record breaking Olympics in our time–and I just have a strange feeling that perhaps some of the construction is just a tad off in design–there has already been a lot of talk about the incredibly “fast pool” which Phelps has brought home his 8 solid golds. We will more than likely never know the truth about that one, but it is something to think about.
There are more issues, but these are the main things I have been thinking about. I do think that the Olympics is a great thing for China and I do hope that it does continue to open huge doors for the people of China, but there has been very disturbing news that the country will enter a huge recession once the games are over-and that might just be enough to send the country back undercover again while it licks its wounds from the Olympics.