Saturday, May 03, 2008

Afterthoughts of the Olympic torch relay

These are things I forgot to put in my last blog entry. Usually I just write what is on my mind. some subjects do tend to be left on the pavements and I have to drive back to pick them up.

Firstly about the Olympic song. Every Olympics has a tacky pop with words like 'spirit' and 'strength', sung by all the local celebrities. I'm just disappointed they have the words "We are ready" in the song. Why should I be peeved at this? Well the words are in English and the rest of the song is in Chinese (it seems the song has a Cantonese & Mandarin version). If we think China is so great, why do we have to bow down to international appeal and put some English words into the lyrics? Just issue an English version with equally stomach-churning words sung by a tacky pop star. Also I just find it ironic those words. 'We are ready.' Beijing may not be ready in terms of air pollution. I think this problem is the only one the Olympic committee have. Compared to the last Olympics in Athens, Beijing is more than ready (except for the issue on human rights, in which they promised to improve once they were given the rights to host this years Olympics).

Secondly the Olympic torchbearers. In London, they had Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Kelly Holmes, along with other stars such as Sir Trevor McDonald and Konnie Huq carrying the flame. Naturally there will be celebrities in the line-up but most of the spots were filled by athletes; people who have a direct link with the Olympics. Here in Hong Kong it is different. Only a third of the 120 torchbearers were athletes. The others were a host of business people and celebrities. The list of torchbearers never came under scrutiny. I have nothing against the likes of Andy Lau or Eason Chan, it is just the process of allowing celebrities to participate to add more glamour to already otherwise significant event. London didn't get the likes of Leona Lewis or Jude Law to run the Olympic torch relay. The most disappointing thing I heard about the Hong Kong torch relay was what local 'singer' and 'actress' Kelly Chen (I would have rather used the word 'celebrity' as well but my sarcasm meter has already exploded) said. The thing she was most worried about was looking good.

I don't want the Olympic torch to come through Hong Kong again and if it did, please get genuine people like ordinary citizens and athletes to carry the torch, not celebrities wondering if they look pretty whilst holding the torch.

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