From USA Today:
Keeping track of the sports world in China
From USA Today:
Another article from the New York Times – this one on the challenge of harnessing the immense interest that the Chinese have for the Olympics in the marketing campaigns that will emerge over the next nine months before next year’s Olympics.
For Olympics, China’s marketers are showing their pride (New York Times)
…The news just keeps on coming.
Youth movement spurs China’s Olympic hopes (CNN.com)
In China, the NBA’s Bucks vs. Rockets translates to Yi vs. Yao (International Herald Tribune)
World wushu championship opens in Beijing (ChinaView.cn)
Chinese Ethnic Games:
Modern Guangzhou hosts ethnic games with all heart (ChinaView.cn)
When I was working at the Athens Olympics, we watched some of the most amazing competitions in half-empty arenas in the evenings after our day shifts ended. It was astounding to watch the women’s all-around gymnastics final in an arena where I could see not just one or two empty seats, but whole sections. Athens just wasn’t fired up enough about the Games to fill the seats.
To put it mildly, that will not be a problem in Beijing.
The ticket-buying process originally set out by BOCOG – first come, first served, over the Internet – literally melted down this week as the entire Internet-using population of the country evidently logged on to the site all at the same time for their tickets. That’s led to the decision to distribute the domestic allotment of tickets via a lottery system.
Heavy demand leads to Olympic ticket lottery (AP, via Sports Illustrated)
The Financial Times has its own website dedicated to news on all things related to the Beijing Olympics.
The saddest possible news came out of last weekend’s U.S. men’s Olympic marathon trials, held a day before the New York City Marathon on a criterium course in Central Park. Ryan Shay, a national-class marathoner who won the 2003 national championship in that event, died suddenly on the race course about 5-1/2 miles into the race. It’s widely believed that he had a cardiac event related to an enlarged heart, a condition he was first diagnosed with at age 14. Conclusive autopsy reports aren’t due until the end of the week.
Olympic reporter John Powers of the Boston Globe writes about the shock of Shay’s death in a story that includes many Olympic updates for several national teams, including volleyball, cycling and swimming. Powers is one to read as the Olympics draw closer – to say he’s an experienced sports reporter is a vast understatment. He’s among the best.
As 2008 approaches, we send our prayers and thoughts out to Shay’s family and teammates, and wish the best of success to the men who qualified for the United States men’s marathon team for 2008 last Saturday: Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Brian Sell. No doubt Shay will be in their minds when they line up for the Olympic marathon next August.
Marathoners deal with toughest loss (Boston Globe)
Gotta love this story from today’s New York Times about one of the United States’ Olympic hopefuls in archery. She’s 64 years old – you go girl!
Retired principal rekindles competitive fire for archery (New York Times)
From today’s New York Times:
From Reuters India today comes a story that illuminates one of the many complications of being an elite athlete in the PRC. Athletes are normally considered the property of the state in China, and that extends to the provincial level. Provincial sports authorities stand to make money when their province’s athletes do well in competition. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s a recipe for corruption. Having just weathered the Marion Jones doping scandal in the U.S., I’m pretty down on any sports system at this point in which huge amounts of money are made by people other than the competing athlete and the coaches who guide that athlete, but then, it was Jones’ coach who allegedly provided her with performance-enhancing drugs, so corruption exists at the coach-athlete level as well. Add in the extra layer of a state-sponsored sports development program, and, well, you get trouble.
China weightlifting champion in provincial tug of war (Reuters India)