Open Mic: Chinese-U.S. Rivalry Makes Olympics Worth Watching

Scott TaylorCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2008




I will go on record to say that I wasn’t planning on watching one bit of the Olympics this year, much like the winter Olympics of 2006.

Once I turned it on I was hooked to the swimming and gymnastics. A lot of it has to do with having an HD TV to watch it on. I probably would have found something better to do otherwise.

Like many Americans, I have become heated when it comes to women’s gymnastics. All of a sudden I have a hatred for the Chinese gymnastics team the way I hate the Chicago Cubs.

While I constantly root for them to fall off the balance beam, I am fully aware that it is not their fault that they are put in this situation. After all, very few people have a say in the country, especially a 13-year-old girl. Oops, I mean 16.

That is the number one problem I have with the Chinese team. If they looked like they were of age, then it would be okay. Or if there wasn’t proof in the past that they were younger than what their passports said, it would be okay.

But that is not the case, so it is not okay. All the International Olympic Committee is doing is turning away while the Americans talk to the walls.

Why should the IOC do anything about it? The heated debate as drawn more people, such as myself, to the Olympics this year and got them hooked. Now they can sit back and listen to their cash registers as more and more Chinese people show up to the games with their nation in the running for medal supremacy.

Would China get away with this if the games were played someones else, such as the U.S.? Heck no! There would be some massive chaos going on in that city.

Instead, there are some passionate fans from both countries hoping that their country will end up the best.

The anger just intensified in me after I watch Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson get screwed out of higher scores in their first two events, while one of the Chinese girls struggled her whole balance beam routine and still ended up with a similar, if not better score.

In the end though, there was nothing the judges could do because the U.S. duo dominated the final two events and there was no way for them to be left out of the top two spots without an entire nation thinking of a conspiracy.

That was the last hope for the Chinese and while they might have won the team title, we got the last laugh.

As far as competing the rest of the way goes, I think that the overall medal race is pretty much over. With track and field still left, as well as team sports such as basketball and softball, the race is pretty much over. The only thing China might win is the total gold medal count, but that isn’t going to be easy to hold on to.

It looks like democracy and those who are old enough to drive will prevail again.

As for me, I will be looking forward to another tough match in four years when all of the girls from China will be over 16. In all honesty though, I hope that those girls are really of age. It isn’t fair for them or any of the other girls who competed in the competition, although the IOC probably deserves the scandal. The IOC has to be the ones to blame. If it weren’t for them and their lack of care about the age issue, there would have been no reason for me to root against China as much as I did (except to see the U.S. win, of course!)