Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's NewsWatch: The Olympic decathlon of death

By Johnny Neihu

Recitations must be in Hunan-accented Mandarin, which might rule out some athletes (Sudanese swimmers are exempt, however).

8. 100 meter hurdles: Pretty much as normal, except that athletes from Taiwan and Taiwan's diplomatic allies will be electrocuted if they graze the hurdle. Ouch!

9. Rowing: To appease its national minorities, the Chinese government has secured a promise from the International Olympic Committee to include a new race in this sport: the coxless 55. That's right, one rower from each minority (including one Gaoshan delegate covering Taiwan's Aborigines, though I hear he's just a swarthier-than-usual Han from Shanghai in a headdress clutching a kitchen knife). Apparently there's only one entry for this event.

10. Paralympics: Always a moving and exciting part of Olympics season, the Paralympics will once again feature no Chinese athletes, because, as we are told, the government thinks it is in the national interest to take the "Han" out of "Handicapped."

Some compelling sports action is on the way. In the meantime, might I suggest to the family of the woman who was killed by those developers' thugs that they try to recover some of the funeral costs? Send a letter to a man who, by his ineffectual words, has exacerbated this barely constrained ultracapitalist thuggery. His details:

Jacques Rogge

International Olympic Committee

Chateau De Vidy

Case Postale 356

1007 Lausanne, Switzerland

But don't expect Monsieur Rogge to pay up any time soon. First you should expect to see him standing at a podium, his voice trembling as he reaches into his suit pants, flops out the sloop and makes vigorous hand movements, then finally moaning: "One World, One Dream, these were the best ... Games ... ever."

Heard or read something particularly objectionable about Taiwan? Johnny wants to know: dearjohnny@taipeitimes.com is the place to reach me, with "Dear Johnny" in the subject line.

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