August 15, 2008

Olympic Bouncers Not Checking for Fake IDs

Posted in In the news tagged at 3:12 pm by R

China’s PR efforts during the Olympics have been extensive. We’ve been wowed as China’s true culture has unfolded in front of us through a remarkable opening ceremony, meticulously executed organization in the games and a couple controversial PR foul-ups that have captured our attention as well.

First, we found out that the lovely little singer from the opening ceremonies was in fact just an excellent lip syncer. The real singer was deemed “not attractive enough” by the Chinese government to be shown to the world.

Then gymnastic commentators and other sports press began speculating that not all of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastic team was of age and eligible to compete in the Beijing Olympics.

Particularly of suspect is He Kexin.

He Kexin

He Kexin

Both before and after China clinched the team all-around gold people were talking about how old this young lady was. There seems to be some serious inconsistencies.

The Chinese government forcibly and adamantly insisted that He is 16 and was born January 1, 1992. However, the Huffington Post and writer David Flumenbaum uncovered several on-line documents that refute that assertion in writing. These documents state Hexin’s birth date is January 1, 1994…making the remarkable tumbler and uneven parallel bars phenom only 14. Those sources happen to be major Chinese newspapers, meaning that the age of He Kexin is common knowledge among readers.

How does China recover from this information being reported? Do they?

I don’t really see a clean and easy way out of this one. Someone is going to have to take the blame…But I suspect that it won’t be China…at least initially. More than likely, the IOC is going to have to answer some questions about verification for Olympic participants (and there are nearly 10,000 to verify).

I feel bad for China because they worked SO hard to have this image and build this presentation for the Olympics and the international community of who they are as a nation and now the cracks are beginning to show.

Despite the limited talk of human rights violations… Despite the near pristine execution of the events…The things that will linger for a lot of Olympic viewers world-wide are questions about whether or not China knowingly submitted ineligible team members and what might have happened if…

If China’s operating under the assumption that any press is good press, then things are going swimmingly. But if they were working to establish an image on the international stage…then there’s some crisis communications to be done.

Until, rather, if any of this is resolved officially, a tarnished and questionable Gold medal ranks below last place.

~Robyn

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1 Comment »

  1. N. J. Stewart-Smith said,

    Switching the seven-year old child for a cuter lip-synching nine-year old in the opening ceremony was appalling. Imagine being the singer who was yanked! How cruel! – and for what – appearances? At least the whistleblower had a sense of truth and compassion.


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