Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is China Faking The Fans Too?

While most sports at the Games are experiencing a dearth of spectators, there are instances of entire sections being packed with fans dressed identically

After the faux pas of the opening ceremony, where officials admitted featuring one girl on stage instead of another for her attractive looks, there has been yet another allegation at the organising committee.

There were entire sections of empty seats behind both goals at the team handball stadium on Monday. Next to them were sections packed with fans dressed in identical shirts, pounding inflated bats and being led in rehearsed cheers.

That emptiness and eagerness in a single frame provided two early mysteries to these supposedly sold-out Games.

Though these Games are being run with predictable, well-mannered efficiency and few logistical snags, the most sensitive issue facing the organising committee has emerged quickly — Why the empty seats?

And, oh, by the way, who are those uniformed cheerers so enthusiastically providing bursts of colour and choreographed chaos at archery and wrestling, and most events in between?

Empty seats are not an uncommon problem at the Olympics, in part because corporate sponsors receive most of the best tickets. Beijing organising committee officials said that not all of those tickets were being used.

“It is a challenge for us,” Wang Wei, executive vice president of the committee, said on Sunday. “We are now in the process of trying to manage that.”

But, while many athletes have been thrilled to compete in front of far more fans than they are accustomed to, nearly every event has had at least a noticeable smattering of empty seats. Most arenas have been about three-quarters full, with a few barely half full.

On Monday, the competition sites for tennis, boxing, basketball, field hockey and handball were among those with large splotches of empty seats. The 10,000-seat centre court at the Olympic Green Tennis Centre was about three-quarters full for Roger Federer’s match against Dmitry Tursunov. Even seats at swimming events were vacant.

Mostly, however, the Beijing organising committee pointed toward the corporate sponsors for the plight.


“Sponsors may give their tickets to their friends and important customers and they may not appreciate as much and come to the preliminaries,” Wang said. “We are trying to persuade people to respect their rights to watch the Games.” (DNA News)
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6 Comments:

Blogger kopitelp16 said...

Fakes have been a problem for China. But what is more shocking is that the Chinese Government "OKed" for the opening ceremony fiasco just to look good in the eyes of the world. All seems so hollow now. State-sponsor fakes? You bet!

1:18 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Jed Yoong said...

This is the ULTIMATE Cina mentality.
A set of ethics that's so far apart from accepted Western norms.
Give me Western style democracy, intgerity, justice/fair play, anytime....At least we have the best chance of making the most of our time here on earth...

1:44 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

surely the foreign reporters, camera n videomen n other reps who r there can tell the diff bet fake n truth?

1:48 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the common Asian "culture", i.e. we want FACE & look good mah.
BTW, the Chinese has admitted or "exposed" the previous fakes in the opening ceremony, lets wait & see whether they will admit anymore fakes, if there is any.

2:20 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Garrett said...

C'mon..not you guys, too? Isn't there enough of China-bashing from the west? So what if the Chinese govt is trying to look good? Is it hurting anyone? Or is that also against democracy?
Jed Yoong, in case you haven't noticed, western democracy isn't perfect, either. I'm not saying that I approve of the Chinese govt's style, but they are opening up, slowly but surely. To blindly embrace western ideals is foolish. Governance should be tailor-made to suit a nation's culture, racial and religious sensitivities, etc.
"Western democracy, integrity, justice/fair play" has played a big part in attacking China and forcing it allow opium trade, and then to loot its treasures. These western ideals also made sure that no locals were allowed to visit Fraser's Hill, unless they were working there. These admirable western traits prevented locals from buying or owning properties in Kenny Hills. And I don't want to go into all those "morality-based" wars waged on countries by the great western nations based on flimsy excuses.
Although I may sound like it, I am not anti-west. All I am saying is that we should not blindly worship everything the west say or do. There are many, many good in Asian values. And as such, I am proud to be an Asian.

6:52 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

garrett: well said. at least the Chinese are truthful. the westerners hide and lie until the evidence is out, then they apologize. i'm not anti-west too, but i see the hypocrisy. china only opened its doors 30 years ago and yet it has gone far beyond malaysia. don't forget it has to gapple with the largest population in the world, plus widespread corruption and policies n traditions tt held it back frm progress.

eg. you may say the big population is an advantage for them in the Games, but hey so does india and yet where is india on the olympic medals tally? it's all hard work and determination plus the right policies. we have been independent 50 years and we are still limping, so who are we to bash china?

12:13 PM GMT+8  

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