Patterico's Pontifications

2/10/2022

Meanwhile, at the China Olympics

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:18 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Here are some interesting topics at the intersection of sports and global events. Feel free to take one (or more) and run with it in the comments.

(1) Ratings for the opening ceremony were dismal, only about 60% of what they were four years ago when the winter games were held in South Korea. The viewership for the opening ceremony for this past summer’s Tokyo Olympics was also down from 2016, but not by nearly as much.

(2) And ratings for the actual events also seems to have taken a hit. Yes, the time difference is a factor, but it was a factor four years ago too when the daily ratings were higher. No doubt some of this can be attributed to viewers continuing to abandon cable and go to streaming services, but polling suggests that many viewers are actively choosing not to watch any of the events as a protest of China’s ongoing bad behavior.

(3) People (at least those who watched) aren’t happy with NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony in which it is widely held that the network soft-pedaled China’s record on human rights and repression. The cynicism of China selecting an (allegedly) Uyghur athlete to light the Olympic torch was not lost on observers, seeing as how China is reported to be using intermarriage and mandatory sterilization to wipe out that ethnic group within the country’s borders. Recall that one of Dana’s Weekend Open Threads included Bob Costas acknowledging that the International Olympic Committee is “in bed with China,” and it is apparent that his former network is in bed with the IOC, so we got one of them there polyamory things going on.

(4) The Olympic organizers — oh, the hell with it, let’s be honest about it and say the Chinese government — has adopted very strict COVID protocols which are proving controversial. Athletes and other participants who test positive for the virus are being required to quarantine in a hotel until they produce two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart, and there have been widespread reports that the food being delivered to them is ridiculously substandard for general human beings let alone elite athletes, and that the COVID tests they take daily in the hopes of being released from quarantine might not be accurate. The Chinese government is also requiring participants to download an app to their phones (thanks Apple for enabling this via your Apple Store!) to track their daily health and movements in the country, ostensibly for contact tracing but — ever so conveniently — to know where an athlete is and has been at any given moment. Recall that the Speaker of the House of Representatives warned U.S. athletes and officials that they needed to steer clear of vexing the Chinese government by exercising the free speech rights that are guaranteed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document to which China is a signatory.

(5) Here’s a very interesting story about an 18-year-old American-born freestyle skier residing in the Bay Area who three years ago chose to compete for China, the home country of her mother. She is attractive, intelligent, and athletically accomplished, and she met her vast potential the other day by winning the gold medal in the Big Air competition, making her a huge cultural figure in her adopted country. This is causing some stress as she navigates living in two vastly different cultures, while trying to maintain a persona that isn’t offensive to either of them.

(6) The Russians are doing what the Russians do, that is to say their athletes are cheating.

(7) Tennis player Peng Shuai made an appearance in a tightly-controlled (by Chinese “advisors”) interview with French television and then with an evening at ski jumping with IOC head Thomas Bach. She apparently assured everyone that her previous allegations of sexual assault by a high-ranking Chinese government official were just a giant misunderstanding and that she is enjoying her retirement from professional tennis, and naturally that is good enough for the craven and crass IOC.

(8) Closer to home, an Australian artist of Chinese origin named Badiucao created some very clever and pointed parody posters of the Beijing Olympics. Student activists at George Washington University then printed the posters and hung them around campus, thus raising the ire of Chinese students and those who are inclined to mindlessly repeat talking points disseminated by the Chinese Communist Party through the wokesphere. GWU’s cowardly president Mark Wrighton issued the requisite statement expressing dismay at the alleged racism of the posters while mollycoddling the offended students and vowing swift action against the dastardly perpetrators of this outrage. When it finally dawned on Mr. Wrighton what a blithering idiot and mindless simp he was being, he issued a mealy-mouthed half-assed apology, acknowledging that he had failed to fully understand the nature of this symbolic protest. Though I think it is safe to say that had these posters not been created by a Chinese dissident, Wrighton would have doubled down on the racism nonsense because that is the level of stupidity and mendacity to which so many college administrators are willing to rise these day.

I’ll leave you with a link from Perry — Perry Link, that is (sorry, couldn’t resist) — in which he opines that unlike the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008, these games are not going to improve China’s standing in the eyes of the world and the fiasco that is unfolding is fated to unleash a lot of ill-will towards the totalitarian hosts. He closes his essay with a great anecdote about the opening ceremonies staged nearly fourteen years ago which explains why China’s carefully choreographed presentation is just an illusion:

At the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing games, a seven-year-old named Yang Peiyi sang “Ode to the Motherland,” but, because authorities judged her insufficiently photogenic, she was replaced on camera by nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who lip-synced. Fireworks in the sky appeared as “footprints,” but, because these could not be captured on camera, their image had to be artificially added to the video feed. That was then. Now, all of the snow — and so much else — at the Olympics is artificial, and everybody knows it.

Read Professor Link’s entire essay, and go Team USA (even if I am not tuning in to watch you).

– JVW

48 Responses to “Meanwhile, at the China Olympics”

  1. The good news is that our men’s hockey team smoked China, 8-0.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. (5) Here’s a very interesting story about an 18-year-old American-born freestyle skier residing in the Bay Area who three years ago chose to compete for China, the home country of her mother.

    The Chinese Exclusion Act had the right idea, and the Supreme Court was wrong in Wong Kim Ark. I guess this girl is one that was not picked to run for President of the United States someday. Governor of California?

    nk (1d9030)

  3. I watch the Olympics. I always watch the Olympics. I am not watching this year and it is a deliberate choice because I don’t approve of what is going on in China and I don’t think our athletes (or anyone’s athletes) are safe.

    Nic (896fdf)

  4. A lot of American citizen athletes choose to compete for a different country because, frankly, it is easier to make another nation’s Olympic team. What’s interesting to me about Eileen Gau is that clearly she has the athletic talent to have represented the country of her birth (as evidenced by her gold medal), yet she chose China instead. There are some rumors that her mother is a staunch Chinese nationalist, but the other and more plausible reason she chose China is likely because the people around her have calculated that she can make more endorsement money being Chinese than being American. This is incredible to me because, as I wrote, she is attractive, intelligent, and accomplished and it would seem that American companies would absolutely love to have her as a product endorser. And maybe they figure that she can still choose her shots in the U.S. market, but I think that prospect is somewhat less likely in 2022 than it was in 2019. I guess we’ll soon see.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  5. The American team pretty much sucks. Shaun White came in fourth in halfpipe, Mikaela Shiffrin crashed and burned in the Super G, and no American male skiers made the downhill finals.

    Rip Murdock (da0cad)

  6. I watch the Olympics. I always watch the Olympics. I am not watching this year. . .

    I’m a huge Olympics guy normally, though I really do prefer the summer games over the winter games. I especially regret that NHL players aren’t in the hockey tournament this time around; those USA-Canada gold medal games in years past are some of the most amazing hockey I have ever seen. And I don’t really pay close attention to skiing, snowboarding (hooray for Torrance’s own Chloe Kim!), bobsled, luge, biathlon, figure skating (congratulations Nathan Chen!), or speed skating (though I still remember Eric Heiden’s amazing 1980 sweep of the events). But though I would normally have it on in the evenings as background noise, this year I just really don’t have any desire.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. The IOC should never be able to live down the shame of giving China the Olympic Games. I believe they have only further confirmed their corruption. I have not been watching the games, and have no intention of doing so. It’s difficult to imagine enjoying the games while knowing that the host country is committing a genocide at the very same time.

    Dana (5395f9)

  8. @1 the chicom hockey team isn’t even chicom

    what a joke

    JF (e1156d)

  9. How American Skier Eileen Gu Will Cash In On Competing For China
    ……..
    Gu already has plenty of affiliations with luxury brands on both sides of the Pacific. Last year, Tiffany & Co. named her as one of three new global brand ambassadors, along with actresses Anya Taylor-Joy and Tracee Ellis Ross. Gu also works with watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen, Victoria’s Secret, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Gucci.

    In China, her endorsements include Luckin Coffee, Bank of China, Cadillac China and China Mobile. Campaign Asia estimates she has dozens of brands working with her. Her face has graced the covers of Elle and Vogue China. During this month’s Games, Red Bull—another sponsor—has been releasing footage of Gu in Beijing, including a new digital series called Everyday Eileen about her ascent to stardom. This week, China-based luxury brand publication Jing Daily descried Gu as “China’s hottest commodity.”
    ………
    “Increasingly, brands are looking for ways to position their message as global and not constrained by language or geo boundaries,” says (Jamie Gutfreund, global CMO for the influencer agency Whalar) who previously served as the CMO of Hasbro, MGA Entertainment and the ad agency Wunderman Thompson. “Athletes like Eileen are serving as cultural diplomats who can help carry a message more broadly.”
    ………
    Ricardo Fort, who managed Olympic sponsorships for Coca-Cola and Visa during past Games, said he’d be surprised if Gu’s decision to ski for the Chinese team in the Olympics was a commercial one rather than simply sentimental. However, the decision was smart financially and can only expand her appeal in the world’s most populous country.

    “If I had to choose between Chinese sponsors and American sponsors, the pool of money for endorsements in China is more interesting for any athlete,” said Fort, who’s the founder of Sport by Fort Consulting. “I don’t know if that was a motivation, but I think she’ll benefit exclusively from brands from China and not much more from Western brands.”
    ########
    I don’t mind her skiing for China, I do mind her coming back to America.

    Rip Murdock (da0cad)

  10. @1 the chicom hockey team isn’t even chicom

    what a joke

    Wait until you see the U.S. Men’s Field Hockey team when we host the Los Angeles Olympics. Don’t be surprised if 80% of them are naturalized citizens born in South Asia. And our men’s handball team will probably be a bunch of sons of U.S. servicemen in Germany and Holland.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. I don’t mind her skiing for China, I do mind her coming back to America.

    Well, young Miss Gu will be returning here to enroll at Stanford this coming fall (I believe she still has to finish her Bay Area high school too, though I may be mistaken about that). The interesting question is whether or not she has relinquished her U.S. citizenship, which theoretically (according to Chinese law) she would have to do in order to accept her Chinese citizenship. The scuttlebutt is of course that the Chinese were desperate enough to have her in a Team China uniform for propaganda purposes that they waived the requirement for her, but they don’t want anyone to know that because there are other Chinese who have given up their American citizenship who might feel betrayed. But I’m sure word will leak out if she is seen in the U.S. Passports Only line in the San Francisco Airport upon her return home. I suppose someone at Stanford could also leak information as to whether Miss Gu is classified as an international student. My guess is that she retains her U.S. citizenship but has been told to keep quiet about it.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  12. Relinquishing one’s American citizenship is a very difficult and very dangerous thing to do. Dangerous in what way, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s grounds for exclusion from the United States, for one thing, among other many legal disabilities.

    There is one loophole. It cannot be done by a person who has not attained the age of majority. The internet says Eileen Gu is 18, but I don’t know what La Migra’s age of majority is these days or will be in some future day, and I don’t even ….

    nk (1d9030)

  13. hjuih, they still have the olympics? such a farce.

    mg (8cbc69)

  14. The scuttlebutt is of course that the Chinese were desperate enough to have her in a Team China uniform for propaganda purposes that they waived the requirement for her, but they don’t want anyone to know that because there are other Chinese who have given up their American citizenship who might feel betrayed.

    Since Chinese law doesn’t allow for dual citizenship, it would also be against IOC rules. But when have the Chinese or IOC been concerned about rules?

    Rip Murdock (da0cad)

  15. #13

    Knew the day would come when I completely agreed with mg.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  16. 1972 USA mens B.Ball getting screwed was the start of the end for me, Appalled. It snowballed from that point. The amount of money the crooks from the olympic committee receive should come under “Rico”. Baseball, golf, curling and tens of other sports need not be olympic events.

    mg (8cbc69)

  17. Εἴπατε τῷ βασιλεῖ, χαμαὶ πέσε δαίδαλος αὐλά,
    οὐκέτι Φοῖβος ἔχει καλύβην, οὐ μάντιδα δάφνην,
    οὐ παγὰν λαλέουσαν, ἀπέσβετο καὶ λάλον ὕδωρ.

    The last real Olympics were in 385. These current ones are a mockery, kids playing dress up, put together by barbarians who would never have been allowed in the real ones, which were restricted to the two civilized races, Greeks and Hellenized Romans.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. 10, look at Spain and Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, Spain probably gets 4th rung of the Dominican/PR/Venezuela/Cuba talent pool and maybe some of the Air Force kids and Curacao is the main provider of Netherlands’s roster.

    urbanleftbehind (a70b32)

  19. I don’t object to Eileen Gu going to China and supporting the genocidal dictatorship there. I do object to her coming back.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  20. Hmmm. Rip beat me to it. I guess this isn’t an outlier thought, which will plague Ms Gu in future years.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  21. Like I said above, renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship is grounds for exclusion. Being a Communist used to be, too, BTW.

    nk (1d9030)

  22. Can a foreign national be deported for having previously renounced their American citizenship? If so, what would Trump do?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  23. Like I said above, renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship is grounds for exclusion.……

    Only if the renunciation was made to avoid taxation.

    Rip Murdock (da0cad)

  24. Hmmm. Rip beat me to it. I guess this isn’t an outlier thought, which will plague Ms Gu in future years.

    Sorry you didn’t get the joke. It was a riff on Representative John Schmitz’s quip about Nixon going to China: “I have no objection to President Nixon going to China. I just object to his coming back.”

    With her current multi-million dollar deals and adulation, with more to come, she could probably care less what people think.

    Rip Murdock (da0cad)

  25. The crap is on every NBC cable affiliate and every time I roll through the dials to dip in for any sports, they’re going into a commercial with some bobble head talking about curling strategy or such. The full moon is on the 16th; expect the biggest Olympic ‘cover’-age ever then– w/Russians taking the gold, silver and bronze as they sprint through Ukraine.

    …and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. The Russian girl was taking Meldonium. Maria Sharpova was banned from tennis competitions for 15 months when Meldonium was banned. Sharpova’s agent had been notified via email that Meldonium was now on the WADA banned list, but the agent said he never read the email. Sharapova did not fire her agent.
    Turns out Sharapova had been taking Meldonium for 10 years straight when the recommended regimen is 4-6 weeks

    Russian ice dancer Ekaterina Bobrova was banned in 2014 for using Meldonium as well
    So my opinion is that as famous as Sharapova, Bobrova are in Russia, everyone involved in Russian international sports knows that Meldonium is banned.

    steveg (e81d76)

  27. The Olympics have been sad. Little to no cheering crowds. No stories or visuals of the host city and surrounding areas. Long gone are the days when an athlete like Charles Barkley wins over a city. Now, the athletes are herded like cattle to/from their dorms and venues.

    Hoi Polloi (15cfac)

  28. JVW (ee64e4) — 2/10/2022 @ 8:06 pm

    It seems, to me, that she can eat her cake and have it, too. She will still get U.S. spokes-gigs and endorsements because she is a U.S. citizen which may serve to shield corporations from too much backlash. I can see how an advisor would countenance her path. What remains to be seen is if she can continue to thread the needle of public opinion.

    felipe (484255)

  29. JVW (ee64e4) — 2/10/2022 @ 8:29 pm

    wow, I had no idea how small that needle is! It will take a very fine thread, indeed.

    felipe (484255)

  30. I haven’t “done” the Olympics in forever. The last one I really watched was Peter Ueberroth’s 1984 Olympics in L.A. I tried to watch the next ones, but what a contrast.

    felipe (484255)

  31. OT- The stink of panic is oozing from the WH as NSA Sullivan tells Americans to get out of Ukraine within the next 24/48 hours. You gotta admire Vlad’s gamesmanship projecting the bluff of the ol’superpower presence as a defeated, regional power. Senator Joe’s deck of jokers keep losing to President Putin’s pair of deuces.

    What flavor ice cream tonight, Joe?

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  32. OT- SoD Austin orders additional 3,000 82nd Airborne deployed to Poland.

    WTF?!

    Cost of saber rattling? Who pays for this?

    Chocolate or vanilla ice cream for desert tonight, Joe?

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  33. In September of 2001, then-Senator Biden voted with 97 other senators to give Bush the authority to wage war in Afghanistan. Today, Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, said the policy was a multi-trillion dollar failure.

    Wrong sagain, eh, Joey?!

    Vanilla is a racist flavor; do chocolate tonight, Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  34. Joe Cellar, as well as 81 million others, have no idea what they have been fed, DCSCA.

    mg (8cbc69)

  35. I’ve been watching the Jeopardy! National Collegiate Championship instead. It’s amazing how some of these students qualified for the show, let alone for their school. The guy from Norte Dame was particularly embarrassing-he didn’t even make it to Final Jeopardy and still got $10K. I preferred The CapitolOne College Bowl last year. At least Eli and Cooper Manning were funny.

    Everyone is a winner!

    Rip Murdock (da0cad)

  36. JVW (ee64e4) — 2/10/2022 @ 8:29 pm

    My guess is that she retains her U.S. citizenship but has been told to keep quiet about it.

    I saw an excerpt pf her (I think) at some press conference where she said that in China she is Chinese (China indeed does not recognize dual citizenship) and in the United States USA,

    They may have declared her born a Chinese citizen.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  37. The people covering the Olumpics, even if they are quiet about eveil in China probably are soemewhat subdued – because they have to watch their words if for no other reason, and it’s possibly affecting the ratings. They are not merry or enthusiastic.

    Meanwhile the U.S. government just said that Putin may not wait for the end of the Olympics to invade Ukraine.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  38. I saw an old friend in the Bay Area this week. She is from China, and has been in the U.S. for 27 years. She doesn’t like it when her fellow-Chinese husband criticizes the CCP, because the CCP had been good to her. Her logic is reminiscent of a five initial commenter on this blog. 😛

    norcal (2c7427)

  39. Slammed into more lockers in high school:

    [ ] Antony Blinken

    [ ] Jake Sullivan

    [ ] Cher

    Choose.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  40. The people covering the Olumpics, even if they are quiet about eveil in China probably are soemewhat subdued – because they have to watch their words if for no other reason, and it’s possibly affecting the ratings. They are not merry or enthusiastic.

    Maybe because the announcers are 6,800 miles away in Stamford, Connecticut and not actually at the Olympics.

    Rip Murdock (da0cad)

  41. Slammed into more lockers in high school:

    [ ] DCSCA

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  42. @41 🤣

    norcal (2c7427)

  43. @41/@42. Attended HS in Europe, Paul; no lockers.

    “He chose… poorly.” – Grail Knight [Robert Eddison] ‘Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade’ 1989

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  44. 2022 looks like a bloodbath for democrats. But not all democrats. Leftist legislative democrats in heavily democratic districts will survive to take over the democrat party from the corporate establishment liberals and moderates.

    asset (197321)

  45. Should be slammed in a high school locker now

    [] Eric Garcetti

    steveg (e81d76)

  46. China chose a Uyghur – not a very good athlete – they didn’t have anyone presumably – to carry the Olympic torch, along with a Han Chinese co-carrier.

    This propaganda episode was probably intended for those who paid attention already.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  47. Rip Murdock (da0cad) — 2/11/2022 @ 2:25 pm

    the announcers are 6,800 miles away in Stamford, Connecticut and not actually at the Olympics.

    So at least they;re not affected by the Covid (or blamed on Covid) limitations.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  48. China’s paying full-rate for her Stanford education—that’s why she’s on the Chinese team.

    Sharon (0bb831)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1752 secs.