sOne saying will remain: “Have you got the frying pan hot?!” These are the words of ARD reporter Jens-Jörg Rieck commenting on the impressive Olympic victory of Katharina Hennig and Victoria Karl in the cross-country ski team race.
The question rang in my ear again at the graduation ceremony. Not only because Rieck commented live on the last item on the agenda for this Winter Games from Beijing, but also because the absurdity the IOC and the hosts caused during two and a half weeks in the Chinese capital was omnipresent in the final chapter. In light of the record-breaking Delta between theater and reality, Rick’s sentence kept coming back to mind.
How would the Uyghurs or Hong Kong democracy movement activists feel in light of the pity and appeal for humanity, unity and friendship, which of course also conveyed the pre-made and choreographed images at the closing ceremony? “We can change the world with love,” said a song accompanied by a movie about the games, their heroes, volunteers, and spectators. Love instead of hate, loneliness instead of oppression. Too flat, too simple, too wrong.
Baby rattles sound
“Athletes from all countries have shone in the arenas for an unforgettable 16 days. Forged deep bonds of friendship. Your outstanding performance has shown the whole world that we can always be faster, higher, stronger and more united. In sport as well as in the face of the many challenges facing humanity,” he said The head of the organizing committee, accompanied by the sound of plastic chatter devices distributed to the audience, which sounded as if the spectators were carrying baby rattles.
“Thanks to the dedicated and tireless work of the media, the world has witnessed exciting moments, both in and out of the arenas,” Cai Qi continued. Sarcastic words in light of the press censorship in the host country: “Beijing has ushered in a new era of winter sports and testified to what is possible when mankind together looks to the future. The Olympic spirit will live forever. Let us create a better future for mankind together.”
But one thing was especially important to the Chinese. With his record tally of gold medals, he scored an important victory over his geopolitical rivals the United States of America. In the medal table, the Olympic host country took third place behind Norway and Germany, ahead of the USA. The victory over the United States was celebrated on Chinese social media. “Last year’s Summer Games saw the US advance China with a gold medal, and this year China overtook the US with a medal,” one user wrote on Sunday.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party and the government congratulated the team for the “best performance in history” at the Winter Games. “The country and the people are proud of your achievements.” Success is a powerful incentive to build China into a modern socialist country.
The Games were overshadowed by a diplomatic boycott – led by the US, Canada, Britain and Australia, which failed to send political representatives to the opening and closing ceremonies. These actions have been justified by human rights abuses, suppression of dissent in Hong Kong, persecution of minorities, and attacks on Taiwan. Germany did not send any representatives to it, but did not want to talk about a boycott.
“You give peace a chance,” said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, in his closing speech, addressing athletes first and calling on world heads of state to take athletes as an example. “The Olympic spirit can shine only because the Chinese people have set the stage for it with skill and confidence.”
However, the fact that only a select few Chinese loyal to the line were allowed to pursue sports in competition venues and that the population was deliberately excluded in order to avoid deliberate exchange between locals on the one hand and the athletes and athletes. On the other hand, the journalists did not seem to bother Bach.
Instead, he said, “This great experience was only possible thanks to our wonderful hosts, thanks to the Chinese people. With more than 300 million people now practicing winter sports here. Considering the great achievements of Chinese athletes, the positive legacy of the Olympic Games is assured. These represent Unforgettable extraordinary winter games, welcoming China as a country of winter sports. Congratulations China!”
The anticipation of games in four years in Italy, where respect for nature and creativity must be the main focus, is omnipresent. Even among athletes, many complained about the lack of emotion in the artificial Olympic bubble.
“This XXIV Olympic Winter Games were perfectly organized. Respect and appreciation for the hosts, at least on this point,” concluded commentator Rieck, who, unlike previous speakers at the stadium, found appropriate words on the ARD microphone: “But the problem with these Games is In China it is that they have lost their games. The center and that they need to rediscover what matters most, which is their heart. And this is not kitsch and commerce, but youth, sports, all that. And hopefully, unfortunately very objectively, in peace.”
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