Of Beijing Olympics

By: Dave

Aug 27 2008

Category: Uncategorized


The Beijing's Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gvnj/2726589653/

I think the closing ceremony was less spectacular than the opening. Perhaps because the opening ceremony on the 8th was too good that we were all expecting a lot more from the closing – or China’s cultural heritage and rich history interest her global friends more than some of those choreographed performances on the last day. In any case, I’ve been a huge fan of the Summer Olympics since the last games at Athens and I’d say after the Beijing Games, I suppose no other country could do a more spectacular job in terms of Olympic spirit, nation’s welcome and the rich culture of the east of which would always be a lot different from the various ones offered by the west. Just look at it this way, which other country has such a long history divided into dynasties or those traditional costumes donned by ancient Chinese? I think you get my drift.

So I have a lot of comments about the Beijing Games and I’ll try to be objective:

Firstly, China had an awesome opening and I love the Bird’s Nest for its infrastructure. The views from all the different angles are just spectacular. Although the opening was marred by reports that discovered some fakes in the ceremony such as the fireworks being broadcasted by BOB on live television was actually a pre-recorded version and that of the girl draped in a red dress lip-singing while another younger sang backstage. Also, the false claims that they had a child represent all the different ethnic groups in China when most of them belong to the ‘Han’ group. Despite the fakes, China was an awesome host. This is evident from their efforts to reduce pollution since April and also journalists all over the world giving their thumbs-up for the overall experience/encounters with the citizens. The Chinese couldn’t have censored what the world has to say right?

Then there was something amusing yet embarrassing I would say of the US sites. After some days of the Gold medal tally lead from China, certain US sites places their own version of the medal tally with themselves on top claiming that they are placing the orders with respect tot he total number of medals won. Please. It is just sad to see you guys at this level of desperate-ness. It lacks sportsmanship, it shows you’re a really sulky loser and it makes you uglier than the moment you lost in the medal tally. To think that China’s Olympic committee stressed that the Games should focus on forging ties and bringing the world together – much evidently from the slogan ‘One World, One Dream’. I’m being objective here so it’s shame on you websites and not USA. (:

On more inspiring issues, there’s this woman diver whom took part in the Olympics as part of her efforts to fund her son’s treatment for Leukemia. It was a relief she got Silver and damn she deserves it! Oh, you know Wang Nan, the snobbish table-tennis player from China’s team? Yes, the one that once looked down on Li Jia Wei and team Singapore back in the Athens Games. I disliked her throughout the games partly because I was bias towards our own Team Singapore, partly because I can’t tolerate how she scorned at our performance back then, seemingly not threatened by us from where she stood. Then again, I understand that she was once World no. 2 and she had the results to brag. More importantly, I learnt from my mum when she read the very gossip local Chinese newspaper that Wang Nan was fighting some sort of cancer related to her neck while she trained for the Beijing Games. She could have given up but for China she had undergone chemotherapy while training simultaneously where she eventually recovered so it’s thumbs up for her performance during the Games. So yes I have ceased to hate her. Besides, I doubt she would be playing in London 2012 given her age.

Speaking of Table Tennis, I am pretty damn proud of our silver medal brought back by the women’s team. I never knew who Wang Yuegu is nor did I know Feng Tian Wei existed until some 16 days ago. Each time I flip the newspapers of hear their news on TV, my hair kind of stood on ends as if in respect of their achievement. 48 years was a tiring long wait. Perhaps this is the reason why some Singaporeans were never that enthusiastic or supportive of Team Singapore. Perhaps we grew tired of waiting. Honestly, Singaporeans attitude towards foreign sports talent is mixed. I read many many negative comments on Stomp forum many of which feel that they’re not proud that we depended on FT to win our medal. Others feel that our athletes are being paid too handsome a sum and the taxpayers would be suffering. (Seriously, your income tax doesn’t increase because they won a medal. Seriously. ) While I read those before Team SG returned back to Singapore yesterday, I was very much relieved that there are people who turned up at the welcome-back ceremony or whatever you call that. In fact it looked pretty much crowded. This shows that deep down we do care a lot but for the below-mentioned reason most of us try not to express our passion to people around us.

You know the Singaporean attitude – if I turn up and there’s only so little people I would look like a loser especially if my friends know about it. So it appears pretty much uncool here to do things that’s not deemed as the norm. So we follow our little self-generated perspective and soon nobody here seems to show the passion for local productions or local talents.

I hope the manager of the table tennis team is not sacked and also the coach. They deserve to be recognised for bringing the team to where they stand. Besides, like how someone said in the newspaper, sports unlike the corporate world cannot have its issues resolved by firing staff. The absence of a coach during a match has to be questioned, investigated and reflected. Who knows whose temper you might be fanning with your rash actions? It could be the athletes, it could be the whole of team SG and it may just turn the nation against you. It’s really not worth jeopardizing your career and more importantly, the table tennis team’s rapport, don’t you think? Moreover, if the coach is sacked, our hopes and chances of Li Jia Wei playing for London 2012 would be blown out. With Feng Tian Wei’s prowess discovered so recently, it would be such a waste if the trio cannot play together in another round of Olympics.

Back to the Beijing Games, I realised there’re pretty much under-appreciated sports such as Synchronized Swimming which I was always in awe. How they hold their breath under the water for that long with all that kicking of feet in absolute sync is just beyond me. How they maintain afloat while in a damn deep pool bewilders me and the way they have to smile while almost drowning/running out of breath just make the whole sport deserve a lot more attention. But some sports would always garner more attention because they make us sit at the edge of our seats as we worry for them or be amazed by their beauty while some would never interest us. How exciting is watching shooting compared to a game of table-tennis?

Last but not least, I’m going to save up for London 2012. Or the 2016 Olympics – since London has hosted thrice in history and I suppose they don’t have any elements that I’m looking out for unlike in China which so very unfortunately took place when I am serving army.  ): Think about the significance if I celebrated my birthday with the opening of the Beijing Games. The first Asian nation, the first time this gianormous country hosted and of which the opening ceremony occurred on such a special date. Oh man.


2 comments on “Of Beijing Olympics”

  1. You know what? I dont know if i have told you this but you make a great journalist. Your flow of writing is really interesting to read!
    And about the whole table tennis saga.. I was very very impressed when i heard that the girls managed to enter the finals giving us definitely a silver. The news made me feel soo patriotic. Though they’re from China, as long as they wear the Singapore flag, we gotta be proud of them,eh?
    and i hope the coach doesnt get fired too. he has been producing GREAT results. 🙂

    Oh, and China did an fantastically fabulous job man. I bet London 2012 wont be able to out-do Beijing 2008. No way. China has once again made ASIA proud. 🙂

  2. Hey Su! Thank you so much for your generous comment! 😀 Actually the entry has a lot of typos cos I typed it late last night and so in the rush I didn’t do spell check. hahaha..

    And yes I was super excited when I heard they got into the finals. In fact the match to watch was that of the semis against S. Korea. I haven’t watch it either, maybe there’s a youtube version online. (: Oh and GOOD NEWS: the coach is very likely to continue working with the team cos Mdm (or Ms I cant rmbr) Lee Bee Wah said he worked hard to get our 1st medal in 48 years so she have no reason to sack him. But I think she’s just covering herself because if she sacks him, it’ll stir a huge commotion.

    I used to disregard China because it looks rural and I never heard of anything interesting there. But with commercialization and the Olympics, now there’s a Bird’s Nest to look out for – aside from all those international brands in a Chinese version. ((:

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