The Olympics in China and Authenticity

In my mind, already, China has botched these Olympics. Word has come out that two different aspects of the elaborate opening ceremony were faked. Some of the fireworks seen on the televised ceremony were computer generated. And the Telegraph has reported that a girl singing in the ceremony was only lip-synching to another girl's voice. The little girl who actually sung the pre-recorded song was deemed "not cute enough."

Atop this fakery, are the big-picture grievances. They are green-washing the whole thing and not truly cleaning up Beijing's pollution problem. Building walls to hide poor housing? Not a very welcoming act. Then there is the Chinese censorship of the Internet and monitoring reporters' actions in the country. Should the host country of the Olympics act like they deserve it? Honor the distinction of being chosen? I wonder what other deceptions will be revealed during the course of the Olympics.

China has a problem with authenticity. The Chinese government is more concerned with appearances than with substance. And, in my opinion, that is not the way to act as a leader — and isn't this Olympics China's chance to be a world-leader?

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4 Comments

  • alice yoo

    I hate to go against everyone here but I say, cut China some slack. The country is just trying to put on a good face. This is their chance to make their country shine. My members agree with most of you, http://www.mymodernmet.com/for..., they don't agree with China switching out the cute girl for the one not so cute one. But you are talking about a country who really never had to deal with ideas like authenticity - an idea that America only got a hold of in the past decade or so.

  • Saabira Chaudhuri

    You don't become a world-leader overnight, it's a position that needs to be earned. Even if the fireworks were real, and the little girl who appeared to be singing was actually doing so, China would still not have earned any credibility. Its practices, attitude and its human rights record have been called into question time and time again, and it's hardly surprising that the Olympics haven't changed things.

  • Rachel King

    My biggest problem is not what China is doing, but what people are NOT doing about China. There are many claims that the Chinese gymnastics federation has forged documents and lied about the ages of a few of their female gymnasts (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08.... The age minimum is 16, and there are documents identifying some members as 14. And the IOC's reaction: do nothing. It not only tarnishes the sport and the IOC, but China as a whole. Many officials and countries say it is out of respect for the host country for throwing such a great party on Friday (which it was) but that does not excuse cheating and we all know its because don't want to poke a sleeping giant.

  • Andrew Wasmuth

    The question remains who is to blame for all of this. Granted, the Chinese government is the obvious culprit but how much is the public, both inside and out, culpable? We continue to buy Chinese products made in factories that endanger the lives of both their workers and customers. More recently, we have turned a blind eye to the human rights and environmental issues that plague China and award them the highly-coveted gift of the Olympics. Admittedly, I am not a member of the IOC so maybe the goal was to present China with a world stage to redeem itself. And what happens? Another example of fraudulent misdoings and social inequities. What was it the Pres said? 'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice....you can't get fooled again!'

    P.S.- I was just told I was 'not cute enough' to comment on this blog...