Watching China

We’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics in our house since it started. I’ve been surprised how much our family has been sucked into the games! I’ve been watching sports I never thought I’d watch (table tennis, archery, fencing, dressage, etc).

I’ve kept a close eye on the Chinese teams in particular (after the US teams, of course). They have the most gold medals by far and are clearly doing well. Yesterday I watched the men’s volleyball, China vs. Japan. The stand was full of Chinese who came to support their team. They won the first 2 rounds, lost the next 2, then played a tie-breaker game and won. What was interesting to me was to see the people in the stands.  Their support and enthusiasm for their team was deafening.

But it also made me think. China and Japan have had such bad blood for so many hundreds of years. Their history is bloody, brutal, and cruel. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of the cheer was simply that China was beating Japan and not just in a game. It’s sad to think there would be so much animosity still deep-rooted between the 2 countries (justified or not). I hope I am wrong.

One controversy that has popped up is about the little girl that sang in the opening ceremonies. During the auditions for her part, they were looking for a girl that was cute, could sing well, and was “flawless in character”. They found a little girl, but she wasn’t cute enough, so they had her sing behind the scenes while they had a cuter little girl sing out front (the one we saw).

Of course the media has gone nuts with this, saying how awful it is. And it’s not good. But China is putting their best face out there. They want to look good to the world. They want everything to appear perfect, because we all know it’s not. So they cut a couple corners. And they admitted it; the behind-the-scenes girl’s picture is all over the media. They invited the world in to their home and are serving the best. We all do the same.

Another controversy is that the youngest gymnast girl is 13, instead of the required 16 during the Olympic year. That’s still to be found out entirely.

Like I said in an earlier post, it will still be interesting to see how the games continue to go.