(Korean baseball fans, impromptu, to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb): "Dongjoo, Dongjoo, Kim Dongjoo Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah! Dongjoo, Dongjoo Kim Dongjoo! [Something in Korean] Kim Dongjoo!" (upon which Kim Dongjoo knocks in the winning RBI to beat Japan in the semi-finals).
American twentysomethings, on trying to understand the nature of the Ippon in Judo: "Oh, faceslam!... Faceslam is a thousand points!!!"
New Zealand field hockey fan, during a 5-minute video review: "The Chinese built the Great Wall faster than this!"
New Zealand field hockey fan, on seeing an injured Spaniard on the field: "Get up, this isn't soccer!"
Baseball announcer, having to introduce the Olympic mascots, which have no traits describable in the English language: "It's Fuwa time!...Fuwa for you!"
P.S. We saw Jackie Chan! 20 feet away! Beat that for Chineseness, Chronomorph!
Did anyone see us on TV during the Olympic 3m mens diving? We saw ourselves on CCTV, trying to keep a stony silence while a bunch of Russians cheered their diver as loudly as they could.
Some other highlights of our recent travels: - a guy chucking his bronze medal onto the floor and storm off the podium in disgust (that's right, 3rd place is 2nd loser!) - seeing the Lakeside Pavillion of Washing the Tassle of My Official Hat in the Master of the Nets Garden! - seeing 24 pandas: 2% of the world's population! - 100 dumplings in 48 hours!!! - this awesome song!
(P.S. If you don't think it's awesome, play it 49 more times in the next 8 hours.)
The Fuwa (ridiculously translated as "Friendlies") are the Beijing Games mascots. They each represent an Olympic ring colour and a traditional Chinese element, as well as being animated Olympic/Chinese characters: Beibei the fish, Jingjing the panda, Huanhuan the Olympic flame, Yingying the Tibetan antelope, and Nini the Beijing swallow.
We thought the Vanouver Olympics could also have five mascots, representing the regions of Canada:
- Toketoke the Vancouver joint - Graingrain the motionless blade of Saskatchewan wheat - Slagslag the lump of Sudbury coal - Rockrock the Inukshuk - Clubclub the baby seal
Also on our list as possibilities are curdcurd the poutine, puckpuck the hockey puck, and meme the Torontonian. Other suggestions are welcome.
It appears that the Beijing Olympics will be attaching ribbons to toonies and giving these out in lieu of traditional medals.
Eight-year-old Aerfa made these herself.
If you're thinking, man, Aerfa doesn't sound like a Chinese (Han) name, you're right. The article says she's from XinJiang "autonomous" region, a.k.a East Turkestan. That likely makes her an Uyghur. While you'll never see the Beastie Boys at a Free Uyghurstan concert, they likely have just as legitimate a claim to self-rule as the more cute and fuzzy Tibetans.
But don't say that while visiting Beijing for the Olympics.
In case you've ever wondered, the J in Beijing is hard, like the j in jack, not the j in j'accuse. No real clue how to pronounce Uyghur, but maybe it sounds like a Jew meeting a bear?
"Atlanta’s just one of those mixes," said T. J. Ashiru, 30, a Nigerian who chose Atlanta over New York for college shortly after the 1996 Olympics were held here, and stayed to begin his career in finance. "The Olympics was basically the catalyst for what Atlanta became."
People like to throw out "The Olympics" as some kind of cure-all. Frankly I disagree with that in a lot of cases, even while I'm sure the Olympics will have some good effects. Only time will tell which way it balances out for Vancouver...