Communists Lie and Cheat? No…

August 13th, 2008 | Tags:

Is it really a surprise that much of the Olympic spectacle is fake?

The stunning, widely used footage of firework “footprints” leading to the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony was, it transpires, computer-generated. We now know why a film director was asked to run the event.

Lin Miaoke, the little girl who apparently sang the Chinese anthem, was in fact lip-synching to the voice of another little girl. A meeting involving a politburo member decided that although Yang Peiyi was the best singer, she was not pretty enough to take part in the ceremony. She should be heard, but not seen.

Then again, cheering crowds are being bused into stadia by the government, armed with noise-makers and decked in colourful attire to improve the leaden atmosphere inside. In some cases the visitors are taking the places of real fans, who have found themselves unable to buy tickets.

Or that at least half of the Chinese woman’s gymnastics team aren’t actually 16 years old:

According to reporting from U.S. news organizations, half of China’s six-member women’s gymnastics team that won the gold medal today was not old enough to be competing in the event. The rules say competitors have to turn 16 in the Olympic year to be eligible for the Games, meaning they have to have been born in 1992 or earlier.

This is where China’s math and the rest of the world’s math diverge. Yang Yilin, a medal contender in the all-around, was born Aug. 26, 1993, according to the official 2004, 2005 and 2006 national registration lists previously posted on the General Administration of Sport of China website, the Associated Press has reported. That means Yang is still 14, with her 15th birthday approaching.

But, interestingly enough, on the 2007 registration list, her birthday became Aug. 26, 1992.

How about He Kexin, a medal favorite on uneven bars? In articles and registration lists from 2005, 2006 and 2007, found by The New York Times and the Associated Press, she was born Jan. 1, 1994. Oh-oh.

But her Chinese passport says she was born Jan. 1, 1992. (Doesn’t this happen with aging Hollywood actresses, only in reverse?)

And Jiang Yuyuan, another pillar of China’s team? A list of competitors at a 2007 provincial competition listed an Oct. 1, 1993, birth date.

When the perceived stakes are high, those with complete power will break every rule for their own benefit.

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