The Olympics

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For those of you that may not have noticed the 2008 Summer Games are going on right now.

So far the Chinese have admitted to using special effects to generate some of the "fireworks" displays for the opening ceremonies and to having a "cute" girl lipsync to a song sung by a "less cute" girl.

Now after those admissions how is anybody supposed to trust the Chinese Government on anything they say.

PS Go Phelps, swim like there is no tomorrow.
 
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There's a bit of unrest surrounding the Chinese female gymnasts too. Not only do they look way too young to be legally allowed to compete in The Games (age is 16 years old), but some inquiries so far have turned up some contradictory evidence surrounding their supposed DOB. Beats me though, China has always been a little bit internally corrupt. I personally wouldn't trust them on much.

As for the rest of The Games... I'm not seeing much of it. All the bloody coverage here is focused on the swimming events. Yeah, it was good at first, because Australia has a strong swimming team and is our best medal chance, but I actually want to see some other events!
 

Darkfinn

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China is more than a little bit corrupt.

I, for one, am shocked and appalled that the Olympic Committee even allowed the games to be held in China b/c of its horrific record of human rights violations. It reminds me a lot of the 1930's games that were held in Berlin just before the start of WWII. The Olympic Games are supposed to be about peace and equality... yeah... so much for that.

Also... the Olympics in China is having a detrimental effect on the world economy. China has thousands and thousands of high-polluting factories producing all kinds of goods... from electronics to leather to toys. Many of these factories have been shut down to help clear the smog from the air over Beijing... driving up prices for their goods and creating a supply side shortage on the world market. Also... the Chinese government bought up millions of gallons of oil to run electrical generators for the games instead of cranking up their polluting coal powerplants... which didn't help the current world petrolium crisis any at all.
 

mizzycub

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Lukie said:
Not only do they look way too young to be legally allowed to compete in The Games (age is 16 years old)
Is that just for gymnastics, because there is a 14 year old British Diver and no one has complained about it in the slightest.
 

Charlie

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I'd rather sport and politics be left alone...

I enjoyed the opening ceremony, that globe thing was dead cool. I'm just worried because there's no way London's one will beat that, I can see it being very very lame.

I'm enjoying the games, which is weird because I didn't think I'd watch any of it. And in fact I'm half watching it right now!
 

ballucanb

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China is like every other big government, corrupt, the Olympics go to who ever gives those guys the most money, in kickbacks.
 

Peachy

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China is more than a little bit corrupt.

I, for one, am shocked and appalled that the Olympic Committee even allowed the games to be held in China b/c of its horrific record of human rights violations. It reminds me a lot of the 1930's games that were held in Berlin just before the start of WWII. The Olympic Games are supposed to be about peace and equality... yeah... so much for that.
I'm torn on that issue.
For one, it's easy to say that the games shouldn't have been given to China in the first place because of their violation of human rights. If we were to rewind time to the 1950s, the same argument could have been used to exclude the U.S. from hosting the games. Let's just think about segregation and Martin Luther King. So a "holier than thou"-attitude is probably not the right concept for awarding Olympic Games. China is an important nation of sports, so they have every right to host the games.

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the IOC (Int'l Olympic Committee) was expecting the games to be a catalyst for the Chinese government to at least try a more liberal approach for a while. Obviously, that didn't work. On the contrary - the Chinese government fell back into their old ways of oppression. Activists were arrested or threatened to keep their mouths shut, members of the western press are systematically mislead when trying to look behind the facade of the "official" China and asking critical questions, and let's not talk about the censorship of the internet...even for westerners who can easily return home and access whatever they want from there.

In a sense, we can write off the Olympic games as a test run: The "Western World" has given China a chance to show how far they have progresses in their attempt to align communist thinking with capitalist actions. So far, the civil liberties that inevitably have to come with capitalism haven't come very far in China. As such, the experiment "Olympic Games" wasn't a failure - it just showed that China is not yet ready to join the other (so-called) "civilized" countries. However, if anything, we got well-organized games...and a spectacular opening ceremony.
It's not our problem if China refuses to grasp the straw we gave them. A few changes here and there would have made quite a difference, but they weren't up to that challenge. Shame really.

Peachy
 

Jaiden

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I don't really care about fraudulent firework footprints (ooh, alliteration!) or kids miming, to be honest. It's slightly amusing and speaks of China's eagerness to impress but is totally inconsequential.

On the issue of awarding the games to China though, I'm all for it. There is a window of opportunity to engage with China while she still cares how the world views her which needs to be taken. The Chinese government is autocratic and abusive in many ways and it might feel more comfortable to not get involved but so doing is the only way to try and influence the way the Chinese do things before they become too powerful to care. They desperately want to impress the West at the moment and that gives us a little bit of leverage. Admittedly it helps give credence, credibility and prestige to the government amongst its people but I think that is a worthwhile price and we're obligated to take the opportunity. Their human rights record isn't going to improve by us ignoring them but just maybe being able to say 'very impressive games, the organisation, the facilities - all top draw. Just one thing though...' will provide a way in. The West has to talk to China.

Ultimately, the moral high ground of refusing to work with such a disturbing government is tempting but, pragmatically, the only hope of improving it is engagement and the games represent a beginning to that process.

I enjoyed the opening ceremony, that globe thing was dead cool. I'm just worried because there's no way London's one will beat that, I can see it being very very lame.
The Chinese budget is roughly quadruple what we've got planned. Doesn't bode well, does it?
 

ballucanb

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You know if the olympics went back to it original form they would have alot more viewers, and they could make billions by haveing it on a pay per view basis.

All they would need do, is go back to the totaly naked people like it was when it started.

I know I would watch it then.
 

Darkfinn

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Phelps is just crazy. I certainly hope they never find out that he's been taking steroids or anything... that would be horrible.
 
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xdeadx

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Everyone keeps saying Michael Phelps and I'm like wtf cause there's a kid on my football team that's named - Michael Phelps. Lol.
 

dogboy

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I saw a show on Michael Phelps. His arm span is greater than his height, and his feet bend farther back than most other humans. In the water he looks like a porpoise. He is most amazing. As for China, the US has stupidly allowed them to do most of our manufacturing. In a way, we have exported our pollution to China. Of course China has no desire to curb pollution, so they are far worse than the US. They also own a great deal of our economy because they are buying up US debt form our massive trade imbalance. Our politicians are complete morons, but who didn't know that already.
 

Fire2box

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It's sad that some humans have such a advantage over others in this way. I recall watching a discovery channel special on the science of Lance Armstrong. Seams that guy could take longer breaths and get more air then other riders and a few other things. Of course they showed him using wind tunnels to test out his new bikes and whatnot.

Anyways dogboy where did you see the show on Michael Phelps?
 

dogboy

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I think I saw the info on Phelps on the Today show. They did a great job with graphics, comparing his arm span to the rest of his body. Then they showed him lengthwise in the water, and you could really see the dolphin style that he uses. He's really perfected it.
 

Kip

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The only thing I have a problem with is the female gymnasts from China. They look way to young to be able to compete and the IOC should look into the issue. If it turns out they are under the minimum age of 16, they should be stripped of all medals they have won in gymnastics. As for watching the olympics, I have watched the opening ceremony, all of the swimming, women's gymnastics, women's beach volleyball and some of the diving. That is all I plan to watch. Also, to the poster that asked if the minimum age of 16 is just for gymnastics, it is.
 
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