Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Oh the draaahhh-ma... we liiiivvvve for it.

He Kexin, the fetus from China, beat Nastia Liukin, the princess from America.

So annoying.

The tie breaking procedure was so complicated that it took a good 30 minutes before people could even say that it was done correctly and yes, Nastia did in fact lose to the girl who is so young, she hasn't even deveolped eye lids yet. Or wait - no, she's just Chinese. Fetus....Chinese .... it's hard to tell the difference sometimes. (and I mean that in a totally endearing, not at all gross or offensive way.)

So annoying.

In fashion news, I think Italy asked "Members Only" to design their team jackets. Aren't the Italians known for style? Ick.

But the saddest thing that happened yesterday, maybe the saddest thing at the Games so far, was the withdrawal of Liu Xiang in track and field. This guy is the biggest star in China - even bigger than Yao Ming. He's a legend. Part of me wonders if he self-destructed because he couldn't deal with the burden of carrying literally a billion dreams on his shoulders. I don't understand how stars in China cope. There is so much pressure on their athletes here.

I was watching in my hotel room as I was getting ready for the day and since it was in Chinese, I was kind of only half paying attention. (Contrary to my previous reports, my Chinese doesn't actually "rock")But I saw him limping a bit and then I saw his practice run where he clearly hurt something. I still wasn't sure if what I was watching was even live, but I knew it was really bad news when the people in the stands, who had been clicking furiously away at him with their cameras, put the cameras down and just stared motionless at him as he sat down in pain on the track.

After he withdrew, I had to walk through the main press center on my way to the IBC and there was a huge group of local voluneteers gathered around the giant tv. They all looked like someone had just died - and we later got reports that people were crying in the Birds Nest and leaving.

It's really sad - for him, for the country, for the sport. He was China's only big hope in track and field. They have figured out ways to dominate most of the primetime sports, but he was their only big ticket in the birds nest. It's actually a good thing that he didn't run because had he raced and lost - he would have let down an entire country. Better to withdraw with your pride intact.

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