This blog is now – officially – obsessed and disturbed with the weird and often humiliating (shades of S&M) tasks that China’s Olympic bureaucrats have reserved for (or used to select) young girls unlucky enough to have volunteered for “hostess” duty in August. Last week, for example, I pointed readers to the bizarre practice of forcing girls in Qingdao to jam sticks between their teeth as a means of practicing their smiles. Then, this morning, while perusing the news section of the official Beijing Olympic site, I came across additional photos from Qingdao, posted under the headline – seriously – “No Pains, No Gains.” [note the photo caption]
The brief accompanying text explains that the girls may look sweet and relaxed, but … “[B]ehind their sweet smiles is rigorous training that even leaves some of them crying.”
How – exactly – this will help with the presentation of sailing medals, is beyond me. For now I’ll just say that I’m trying to find and then interview the individual (or individuals) devising this stuff (including the – ahem – “learning how to kneel” shown at the bottom of this page). Instinct and experience suggest that he’s middle-aged, a smoker, and daughter-less.