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Nanoose
08-12-2008, 12:20 PM
Fireworks, singing fudged for Olympics opening


Key elements of the stunning ceremony that kicked off the Beijing Olympics were faked, according to new revelations.


CTV.ca News Staff

The spectacular event on Friday included a pyrotechnics display of footprints making their way across the city towards the stadium and a little girl singing "Ode to the Motherland."

It has now been revealed that both events were faked.

The fireworks footage was actually digitally inserted into television coverage of the event, and the cute nine-year-old girl was lip-synching to a song sung by another girl who was seven, said CTV's Steve Chao, reporting from Beijing.

"According to the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, because of the pollution and the smoggy haze it was decided they would use a digital image to enhance the image of the fireworks," Chao told Canada AM on Tuesday, adding that the safety of the helicopter pilot was also a concern.

In another sign of China's desire to create the perfect opening ceremonies, the event's music director Chen Qigang told Beijing Radio a last-minute decision was made to match the nine-year-old girl's face with another's voice.

Lin Miaoke lip-synched to a version of the song by seven-year-old Yang Peiyi.

"The director said the organizers' plan was for the seven-year-old to sing, but during rehearsals Chinese leaders ... decided the seven-year-old didn't fit the national image," Chao said.

"According to the music director the opening ceremony was so important to Chinese leaders, it was supposed to present a flawless image of the country to the rest of the world, and the seven-year-old didn't seem to fit the bill."

Peiyi reportedly had some crooked teeth and didn't pass the cuteness test.

"The national interest requires that the girl should have good looks and a good grasp of the song and look good on screen," Chen, the music director, told Beijing Radio.

"Lin Miaoke was the best in this. And Yang Peiyi's voice was the most outstanding."

Chao said many Chinese feel upset and betrayed that the opening ceremonies, which was looked to as a symbol of national pride, was faked.

"There's been a lot of backlash in regards to this," Chao said.

"There's a great deal of disbelief among Chinese.

Many people are saying they were basically lied to by the Chinese government because everyone was behind the little girl who sang the song, everyone was behind these beautiful pyrotechnic displays and now they're learning a lot of this was faked."

A news story posted on the China News Service says a China Central Television reporter asked Peiyi whether she felt regret over the opening ceremony.

The little girl replied that just having her voice used for the opening ceremony was an honour.

Peiyi is a first grade student at a primary school linked to Peking University and has been described by her tutor as cute, well behaved and with a love of Peking opera.

Miaoke had appeared in a pre-Olympic commercial last year with hurdling champion Liu Xiang, and was already a celebrity in China.

Phillip Allen
08-12-2008, 12:21 PM
circus-circus

PatCassidy
08-12-2008, 12:25 PM
The space ship at the closing ceremony of the 1984 games in Los Angeles.... Don't tell me that was not real either!

TimH
08-12-2008, 12:36 PM
Didnt the Chinese invent pyrotechnics?

Anyway the olympics will probably one day be conducted by animated athletes so nobody has to risk getting hurt.

Maybe even take place in Second Life.

Saltiguy
08-12-2008, 08:21 PM
Hey! It's entertainment, and it was beautifully done. Yes, they invented fireworks, and magic, too.

skuthorp
08-12-2008, 08:28 PM
A virtual opening ceremony might be cheaper, and imagine the special effects! (Spiderman lighting the torch?)
Next a virtual olympics, the athletes run at home in an electronically monitored lab, and a computer decides the results. The Chinese need virtual spectators anyhow now!

Keith Wilson
08-12-2008, 08:40 PM
And the guy who flew around the stadium lighting the torches - well, he can't really fly! It was all a trick done with wires! Oh, the horror!

Seriously, why should anyone care?

Kaa
08-12-2008, 08:43 PM
Seriously, why should anyone care?

Because sometimes it's useful to know whether you're looking at more-or-less unadorned reality or at special effects.

Kaa

TimH
08-12-2008, 08:57 PM
And the guy who flew around the stadium lighting the torches - well, he can't really fly! It was all a trick done with wires! Oh, the horror!

Seriously, why should anyone care?

Bullcrap! anyone who has ever watched those old Kung Fu TV shows knows that the Chinese can fly.

Its common knowledge.

seanz
08-12-2008, 08:59 PM
The fireworks footage was actually digitally inserted into television coverage of the event, and the cute nine-year-old girl was lip-synching to a song sung by another girl who was seven, said CTV's Steve Chao, reporting from Beijing.

The explanation I heard for the 'digitally inserted' (That's just wrong....) fireworks was safety concerns, something to do with mixing helicopters and fireworks.
As to the lip synching. In the 2000 opening ceremony at Sydney you could see one of the singers saying 'Hi' to athletes while his song was playing.....
That's showbiz.

The Bigfella
08-12-2008, 09:03 PM
.... safety concerns, something to do with mixing helicopters and fireworks.



I saw "fireworks" used to good effect during the millenium fireworks on Sydney Harbour to get the damned annoying Channel 9 helicopter to piss off. Someone (not me - and I don't know who) took a pot-shot at it with a flare - after it had spent an hour or so hovering just over everyone in Farm Cove - and giving us all a major headache.

The flare missed the chopper by about 15' - he sure as hell didn't wait for a second one.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-12-2008, 09:27 PM
I REALLY don't care, since I am boycotting watching the games anyway.

riptide
08-13-2008, 12:57 PM
And the guy who flew around the stadium lighting the torches - well, he can't really fly! It was all a trick done with wires! Oh, the horror!

Seriously, why should anyone care?

Because it's a window into how China operates.

Yes, lip-syncing is common in "showbiz," and it's happened before in the Sydney games, but this is different.

The people who planned and directed the opening ceremony were under intense pressure from high-ranking Communist party officials to find the "perfect" child to represent the country. They couldn't find a suitable child, and they weren't willing to risk "disappointing" the party, so they faked it.

Western countries are certainly image-conscious and are no strangers to fakery, but I can't imagine the leaders of those countries caring so much about something so trivial.

Beyond that, the fakery isn't limited to the opening ceremonies. The Chinese government has been accused of issuing fake passports to underaged female gymnasts. From everything I've read, I'm convinced the allegations are true.

If the Chinese government is willing to issue fake passports for the sake of a few pieces of metal (and national "pride"), what will they be willing to fake when the issues are really important?

Like it or not, China is now at the very least the second most powerful nation on earth, and perhaps the most powerful.

Given what we've seen at these Olympics, can we trust *anything* coming out of China? Can we trust anyone who might be susceptible to influence from the Chinese government? Apparently not. And how will that impact political and ecomonic relations with China? That remains to be seen.

Keith Wilson
08-13-2008, 03:02 PM
Oh, please . . With all respect, is this something new? Were you really under the impression that China was a paradise, a shining city on a hill, a bastion of freedom and democracy and brotherhood and tolerance and all that's good, and that their government was incorruptible, honest, just and benevolent?

Forty years ago China was simply nuts, in the grip of the Cultural Revolution, where uncounted people's lives were destroyed for essentially no reason. Twenty years ago it was a moderately harsh police state with a mostly communist economic system. Today it's a much less harsh authoritarian/Confucian state with a robust capitalist ('scuse me - "socialist with Chinese Characteristics") economy. There's still plenty of oppression and injustice, but nothing like it was even a few years ago. It makes no sense to complain about where they are without considering how far they've come and the direction of the trend.

Honestly, I don't really understand all the negativity about China around the Olympics. All of this stuff was happening last year. Ten years ago it was way worse. Do you think they're going to listen to us? Jeez, guys, let 'em have their moment. They've got a lot to be legitimately proud of, as well as a lot of problems.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-13-2008, 05:04 PM
Well, I agree with the last two posters. It is a window into how China operates, and shows how China is changing.

One of the things you don't do in China is disagree with your boss.

One of the Party brass thought the girl who sang best was not pretty enough so they changed her for a well known "child star" who lip synched.

Now the story is out and the Chinese media are having a field day with it.

That would not have happened twenty years ago, or even ten, because the people are laughing at the Party.

Keith Wilson
08-13-2008, 05:05 PM
Now the story is out and the Chinese media are having a field day with it. Excellent point. Good for them!

Duncan Gibbs
08-13-2008, 05:19 PM
They're having a field day with Tibbetan protesters and any foreign reporters who happen to film them... Just NOT in the media though!

Rigadog
08-13-2008, 11:34 PM
If I had a dime for every faked Olympic moment.... You don't think Plelps actually won all those races do you? It's only on the American feed that you get all this stuff about the US medaling, it's all been faked - right down to Misti Mayapple's sandy bum... It's all a giant special effects fraud designed to make us Americans feel better about ourselves...


USA! USA! USA!

The Bigfella
08-14-2008, 12:56 AM
It turns out the main reason they faked the fireworks was because the pollution was so thick, they wouldn't be able to be seen.

That young gymnast - no way in the world is she 16. Lucky to be 12.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
08-14-2008, 03:45 AM
Update on the Chinese media coverage of the lip synching:

The Ministry of Truth, aka the new China News Agency aka Xinhua (whose name can actually be translated as Newspeak - xin = new hua = speak) have decided that it never happened and have removed reference to it from their website, so the other newspapers and the TV have followed suit - but the story was up there long enough to escape into the Chinese blogosphere... :D

Concordia...41
08-14-2008, 04:12 AM
Yeah, I know it's fake (not Phelps, but a lot of the glitz and glitter), but how did they change the TV footage?

I didn't catch the fireworks actually, but what was broadcast here was from NBC (and I'm assuming dozens of other media filming live???)

Enquiring minds.....

LeeG
08-14-2008, 04:24 AM
And the guy who flew around the stadium lighting the torches - well, he can't really fly! It was all a trick done with wires! Oh, the horror!

Seriously, why should anyone care?

but, but, it was just like in the movies!

PeterSibley
08-14-2008, 04:29 AM
Because sometimes it's useful to know whether you're looking at more-or-less unadorned reality or at special effects.

Kaa

Quite frankly Kaa , ever since I saw some VERY convincing dinosaurs bouncing around in Jurassic Park ,I'd say everything is on trust .How would we know ?

Rigadog
08-14-2008, 08:35 AM
Quite frankly Kaa , ever since I saw some VERY convincing dinosaurs bouncing around in Jurassic Park ,I'd say everything is on trust .How would we know ?

Those were real, at least in the original movie. The second one has some computer generated dinosaurs however. Jaws (the 1st one) was a real shark because Roy Schieder was reported to be very afraid of machines, a real techno-phobe. He wouldn't even use a toaster; made his toast over an open fire.