Saturday, August 09, 2008
Li Jiawei drags the Singapore Flag during the Olympics Opening Ceremony
The Singapore delegation was the 188th team to come out yesterday during the parade of the athletes at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games held at Beijing. It's funny that the commentators mentioned our badminton player Ronald Susilo and then Li Jiawei (without mentioning her name), the flag bearer and table tennis player. I guess they had no idea about the couple's recent ugly split. And talking about Li Jiawei, did anyone notice that she was dragging the Singapore flag on the floor? Watch the video above. I guess that's what you get when you purchase an athlete from China - they just have no respect for your flag. According to the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act, no person must treat the national flag with disrespect, nor must any person in possession of the flag allow or cause the flag to touch the floor or ground. The penalty is a fine not exceeding S$1,000. Ouch.
Ok enough about the Singapore team. Let's now talk about the opening ceremony in general. Last night's Olympic Opening Ceremony held at Beijing's Bird Nest stadium was spectacular. There's a lot being said about the Chinese on the run up to the Olympic Games but one thing is for sure, they do know how to create a spectacular Opening Ceremony! The Chinese put up so many amazing sights and sound for the ceremony last night but I think the most spectacular of the lot has to be the lighting of the flame cauldron. Chinese sporting icon and former gymnast Li Ning with the Olympic torch was pulled all the way up to the top of the Bird Nest Stadium, then jogged around the top ring wall "sideways" before lighting up the Olympic cauldron. I swear when he was pulled up, I was a bit worried for the man. I was just hoping the wires were strong enough. It looked scary up there.
The ceremony was directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou but I do wonder though how much of last night's displays were the brainchild of Steven Spielberg who quit as the artistic adviser for the opening ceremony in February in protest at China’s policy on Darfur. It's great to see a fellow Asian country putting up such a wonderful spectacle but as the Chinese spent millions to make sure their Olympics is a success, I can't help but think about the millions of people in Darfur who are suffering because of the Chinese continued sponsoring of the genocide there. No country has offered more diplomatic support, nor done more to provide money to buy the weaponry that fuels the engine of genocidal destruction. And no country has done more to insulate Khartoum from economic pressure or human rights accountability. China may have staged the greatest Olympic Opening Ceremony ever but they have to look at themselves for assisting in the death of hundreds of thousands of people thousand miles away. They have blood in their hands.
Update: You can also read this post on Reuters here.
Update: Li Jiawei and the Singapore team are through to the Finals of the Olympics Table Tennis event.
Also read: Help get Li Jiawei into LOL Olympics
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