It's not only the athletes competing at the Asian Games that undergo grueling training. The hostesses of the Asiad — the pretty women seen accompanying VIPs to the medals presentation arena — have also been through their own beauty boot camp. And it’s no less tough.
It takes 40 days of intensive training to make an ‘Etiquette Angel’, as they are called. This entails getting up at 6.30 am, followed by hours of military drills and posture exercises (standing for an hour with a sheet of paper between their knees or a book balanced on their heads). “We held six bottles of water on a medal tray for half-an-hour,” says Ding Ling. “The first time, my arm was so sore I kept crying.”
There are courses in oral English, service manners and Asian Games history. And then they have to perfect that smile. “We have to reveal at least four teeth,” says Ding, who learnt to do that by
sticking a spoon in her mouth.