Here at Shanghai Scrap, we’ve always been sports fans. And, in our opinion, being a sports fan means being an Olympics fan. Sure, the games drive us nuts at times. The IOC’s hyper-vigilance against corporate logos that don’t have a financial relationship with the Olympics are just the start (we’ll never forget the Chinese archer who had to place yellow tape across the Chicago Bears’ ‘C’ logo on his baseball cap in the midst of competition at London 2012). But whatever. The Olympics are a blast for anybody who loves sports, and this year has been just as much fun as any other.
In 2008, Shanghai Scrap did its best to document the Beijing 2008 Olympics (both at the blog, and at the Atlantic). Alas, no invites were forthcoming for London 2012, so we did the next best thing: we documented Chinese reaction to the Olympics from the Shanghai seat at Bloomberg World View. In total, that encompasses four pieces that – we hope – display the complicated feelings that contemporary Chinese society has for sports, the Olympics, and the world in which it competes every day.
Indeed, despite the efforts by some media commentators to paint Chinese Olympians as joyless automatons performing for joyless, nationalist audiences, the reality is far more complex. The Olympics are, above everything else, fun here – as well as serious national business. I hope these pieces brought that out:
- Chinese Feel Burned by Olympic Uniform Controversy (July 19)
- Beijing’s Olympic Glory Washes Away (July 25)
- For Chinese Olympians, Winning is No Longer Everything (August 1)
- Are Chinese Olympians Competing Against Colonialism? (August 8)