Some random news about Beijing 2008 Olympics…
The power of love
Matthias Steiner of Germany was the men’s +105kg weightlifting champion on Tuesday. When I first saw the picture, I thought of how romantic this guy was… I only knew a day later that the woman in the picture was his wife Susann, who died in a car accident last year, and it sparked plenty of emotions…
This will probably be the most memorable Beijing Olympics’ photo for me… it draws love, sadness, romance, pride, commitment and loyalty. If I am a woman I would probably fall in love with this guy.
The age controversies
The age controversies have been looming at the gymnastic ground since China won the women’s team event, with questions on whether the Chinese girls were old enough to compete in the Beijing Olympics.
Set the investigation aside, I don’t quite understand the need for age restrictions (min 16 for gymnast) in the Olympic games. The girls are going to be trained at young age regardless of the age restriction, so the child protection argument is never valid.
Different athletes will reach their peak at different ages; and for certain sports, their prime might be over when they are 18 or 19… isn’t it a bit stupid to ban the world class athletes that are 14 or 15 of age?
Their form might be different after four years of waiting, and they could have just missed the chance to become an Olympic gold medallist because of the age discrimination.
Just eliminate the age restriction and end this controversy once and for all.
Brazil is a powerhouse in men’s soccer, having won the FIFA World Cup five times, the most among all nations. Bizarrely though, the Brazilian soccer team has never won a gold medal in Olympic history, not the men or women.
The Brazilian men have to content with a bronze in Beijing this time, while the women with silver.
No gold for tourism
The tourism bonanza that was predicted didn’t come after all. The number of tourists does increase during this period, but fall short of what was expected.
The overall hotel occupancy rate is actually lower than the same period last year, with new hotels and extra rooms competing for customers. Other businesses like the restaurants and markets are not experiencing significant gain as well.
There are multiple reasons for this… strict visa requirement, outrageous hotel rates (they tried to cut the price but a bit too late), the Tibet factor, terrorist attack and the drop of normal visitors that are avoiding this supposedly peak season.
The closing ceremony
Contrary to the artistic opening ceremony, the closing will be like a mega concert with truckload of superstars’ performances. Among the linked (but unconfirmed) artists are Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Eason Chan, Joey Yung, Karen Mok, Nicholas Tse, Jay Chou, Wang Leehom, Sun Nan, Rain, Stefani Sun and Plácido Domingo etc.
English soccer star David Beckham, singer Leona Lewis and guitarist Jimmy Page will be performing at the eight minute segment during the handover to London 2012.