Going For Gold At The Peasant OlympicsYou didn't think that China spent $500 million of our hard-earned mortgage debt on the Bird's Nest just so some namby pamby athletes could run around inside it for two weeks and then let it sit empty, did you? There are plenty of other athletic contests that can be held there. Like the popular and entertaining Peasant Olympics. Yes, that's right—the Olympics ... of peasants. The competitors—who are actual Chinese farmers—face off in challenges like water carrying, heavy seed bag throwing, and the always popular "60-metre rice-transplanting race." The event serves the dual purpose of promoting the nation's agricultural pride while also keeping the dirty serfs happy and docile.
The games are meant to teach peasants about sport, partly to keep them content and on the farm, said Kang Wenbing, 18, who competed in the men's grain collection race. "If farming life remains all drudgery, of course people will keep leaving the land. There are 900 million peasants in China. They need the release of sport," said Kang, of Fujian province, still huffing after his heat.
Of course, none of the people it's meant to reach can afford to attend these glorious feats of strength ... and that's just fine with the government since they don't want them there anyway.
Quanzhou's 32,000-seat stadium was virtually empty on Tuesday and no food or drink were provided at venues. "There aren't enough people coming for that," said a stadium official. "Besides, these are peasants. They would litter the food everywhere."
You stay classy, China. China's Sixth Peasant Olympics: Pictures Worth a Whole Mess of Words Dept. [Time] China's farmers cultivate sport at 'peasant olympics' [AFP/Google]