Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's NewsWatch: The Olympic decathlon of death

By Johnny Neihu

The opening ceremony, rumor has it, boasts a cast of tens of thousands and a narrative that combines every one of his movies that starred Gong Li (鞏俐).

China's Rise is somewhere in there, apparently.

But there's more to this Olympics than many have been letting on. Here's a preview of some of the events -- with Chinese characteristics, naturally.

1. Javelin: There is a stupid rumor that Chinese competitors are rigging their javelins with explosives to make a big crater on impact. This makes no sense to me, because the length of the throw would be measured from the rear of the crater, thus defeating its purpose. I can confirm, however, that the aerodynamics of the javelins are based on technology stolen from the US military.

2. Shooting: Falun Gong practitioners will have their faces painted with targets before being propped up on the rifle range. For the trap shooters, organs and limbs harvested from transients who refuse to leave Beijing during the Games will be slung into the air -- making for a glorious spectacle of crimson dismemberment.

3. Marathon: Japan's runners may be in danger. Chinese ultranationalists have raided the ruins of Japan's World War II-era Unit 731 biological weapons laboratory near Shenyang for bricks to hurl at them as they pound down the road. Being China, you will also be able to buy fake Unit 731 bricks along the route to throw at the Sons and Daughters of Nippon as they try to retake the capital. Frenzied Children of the Dragon must ensure they don't buy plaster of Paris bricks, lest they miss out on a chance to crush a Japanese skull and avenge the Rape of Nanking.

4. 100 meter sprint: Forget doping. The real action is in spotting Chinese athletes with nanotechnological tubes feeding oxygen into their mouths and noses. Others will be left choking and reeling in the carbon monoxide/soot particle soup that is a Beijing breeze.

5. Gymnastics: The demonstration sport this year should be a real draw for China's faux middle class of entrepreneurs: uneven bars for children who are too young to walk. China and a few former Soviet states are expected to excel, but I can't point out any of the favorites because some haven't been born and the others haven't been given names yet.

6. Shot Put: This event will be held on a plot of land formerly home to several hundred Beijingers who had their vintage houses demolished. Because it won't be ready in time for the Games, the uneven field will not be marked with chalk. Instead, former residents who protested the demolition will be chained to the rubble and painted different colors according to the distance from the circle. In a quirk that fuses pinball with the Terracotta Warriors, competitors who hit an ex-tenant-cum-distance marker on the head with the shot will receive bonus points and a complimentary trip to the Great Wall at Juyongguan.

7. Swimming: An extra event will be included this year: It's like solo synchronized swimming (if that makes sense), but it does involve laps of the pool. Competitors must present an interpretation of Mao Zedong (毛澤東) bathing at Beidaihe while reciting the classic fourth chapter from his 1938 opus Problems of Strategy in the Guerrilla War Against Japan entitled "Initiative, Flexibility and Planning in Conducting Offensives Within the Defensive, Battles of Quick Decision Within Protracted War, and Exterior-Line Operations Within Interior-Line Operations."

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