Just as American audiences have been fixated on the performances of Michael Phelps during the Olympic Games, Chinese viewers have been anticipating the heroics of hurdler Liu Xiang. So his dropping out of the 110-meter race today with an injury was the headliner at major news outlets. Photographs of his anguished coach and shocked commentaries of his loving fans led the Web.
Still, there was plenty to celebrate. Chinese athletes won
another eight gold medals today, sparking a new round of commentary and
debate on what China's dominance in the gold-medal race means about its
position in the world.
David Bandurski at Hong Kong University's China Media Project translates an opinion piece about the "Olympics Cold War" at the Web forum QQ.
Commentator Liao Baoping says that China's centralized system of
support for Olympic athletes is responsible for its success, not simply
its economic growth. While proud of his country's advances, Liao looks
forward to a time when athletics are developed among a broad swath of
Chinese society, not just its Olympians.
Another worry has
expressed itself as a pun. The title of the opening ceremony's song
"You and Me" sounds like the words for oil and rice in Chinese, and
some have used this coincidence to wonder about rising prices. Nanfang Dushi Bao recounts the joke,
then provides expert commentary arguing that the Olympics are not
likely to be a watershed event that changes the Chinese economy in any
real way. The economy will continue its growth, Wang Yiming predicts.
Kristin Jones, a consultant to CPJ's Asia program, is an independent investigative reporter. In 2011, she was part of a team that won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for "Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes," a collaboration between NPR and the Center for Public Integrity. Jones was CPJ's senior Asia research associate until 2007. She led writing on the CPJ report "Falling Short," which documented press freedom abuses in China ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.
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