If the opening act of the Beijing Olympic Games took your breath away, hold on — for all of it was not real.
According to reports, Lin Miaoke, the ‘cute’ seven-year-old who sang the national anthem, was actually miming. The real singer was another seven-year-old, Yang Peiyi. She missed the chance to perform live because of her — we hate to even say it — crooked teeth.
Now before you shout ‘unfair’, here are a few more enhancements: the footage of fireworks exploding above the Bird’s Nest stadium during the ceremony was digitally inserted into the TV coverage; the 29 ‘footprints’ that were seen springing up across the city was pre-recorded and the organisers brought in cheering squads to fill the empty seats. Something they must have picked up from CPI(M) cadres in West Bengal trying to fill up the Brigade Rally Ground. The official reason? To create a good atmosphere and the right image of China.
At the risk of sounding like card-carrying members of the communist party, we aren’t surprised. For a nation that projected the Games as its passport to the global stage, it is but obvious that it would not leave anything to chance. Why else would they call it a free market ‘controlled economy’?