The Olympics are in full-swing and they're in China, so, you know, it should be a rather fascinating world event, if you're into fascinating world events. And we are proud to welcome back our Deadspin Beijing Bureau, our own trio of correspondents living in China and reporting on everything they see, Olympics related and otherwise. We check a number of Chinese publications and blogs each day from which we steal stories receive inspiration. China Daily is the official English-language publication in China and we usually flip through it each morning over breakfast. It's a rather conservative rag, as far as they go here, but they've let their hair down a bit in their online coverage of the Games. In fact, we're thinking about applying there after our Deadspin gig is up. We're not sure who is the online editor of CD right now, but we're pretty sure we met him at a Theta Ki party at Michigan.Ah, the Chaoyang Park beach volleyball girls. A third of the bureau got up early today to watch the gold medal match between the US & Brazil and to bid farewell to the graceful maidens of the sand (and get horribly sunburned). Interestingly, they seemed to be split up into two squads; one of Chinese girls and one of bubbly foreign heartbreakers.
We seriously doubt the foreign team was made up of international relations students studying in Beijing for the summer; that is to say, we don't imagine the girls speak much Chinese. As fake journalists and amateur linguists, we would be interested in learning about the, um, nonverbal communication that must have gone on backstage. A purty Paraguyan named Leryn Franco captured hearts and the silver medal at the 2006 Miss Paraguay competition (lasciviously linked to Wednesday on With Leather) though finished an out of the money 52nd place in the Javelin Throwing competition this week in Beijing. We don't know much about throwing javelins, nor do we care to, but regardless we salute CD for their gallery Hot! A Sexy Javelin Thrower.
We mentioned in an earlier post that the eastern port of Qingdao would be holding the sailing events of this year's Olympics. We haven't yet made it to Qingdao, the capital of Shandong province, though it's certainly on our list of destinations. We're not quite sure how one would watch Olympic sailing events, but luckily CD put together a nice photo essay, a behind-the-scenes look, if you will, at the wild world of competitive sailing, thoughtfully entitled Sailing Girls Know How to Work It.
But amidst the bikinied cheerleaders and hot athletes, is there any room in Beijing for an elegant, old-fashioned girl? You know, the ones who are forced to go "charm boot camp"? China Daily addresses this very issue in "Perfect Hostesses Outclass Sexy Cheerleaders", where they give the true heroes – the official Olympic hosts, who escort athletes during the medal ceremonies — their due.:
Not just anyone can be an Olympic hostess. Although the role looks simple these hostesses have been meticulously chosen and trained. Hostess candidates have to be university educated, aged 18 to 24, between 1.68 and 1.78 metres in height (5 ft 5 ins and 5 ft 8 ins), with a "ruddy and shiny complexion", "elastic skin" and "a plump but not fat body". Their faces needed to meet standards including the ratio between the "width of the nose and the length of the face" and "width of the mouth and width between the pupils", with eyes three-tenths the length of the face. From about 5,000 applications, 297 candidates were chosen from a dozen Beijing colleges and 40 students from Shanghai to be "Olympic victory ceremony volunteers". And you can bet that they weren't born with their impeccable style and subtle elegance; they are the products of weeks of standing still and smiling:
The women have been through thorough training at a kind of charm boot camp, learning to stand for hours in high-heels and honing the perfect smile exposing eight teeth by spending hours before a mirror with a chopstick between their teeth. "In the standing sessions, we have to stand still and smile for half an hour or more. We also run about a 1,000 metres every day for physical conditioning," one of the hostesses, Ma Sha, 20, told reporters ahead of the Games.
And finally, as Michael Phelps hookup speculation isn't our forte, we'll leave it again to the fine folks at China Daily:
American swimmer Michael Phelps, who has won seven golds in Beijing, became the most decorated athlete in Olympic history and received lots of love from female fans. But who is Phelps' girl? Media reporters so far have pinpointed two girls as swimming prodigy Phelps' girlfriend. The first is Phelps' hot teammate Amanda Beard and the second is charming British model Lily Donaldson. Together with Phelps, swimmer Amanda Beard also represented US participating in the Olympic Games held in Beijing, though so far this hot swimmer pocketed no gold. 21-year-old Lily Donaldson is even hotter and ranked as one of the top 8 models in the fashion world. Lily Donaldson even replaced British supermodel Kate Moss as the "younger face" speaking for Burberry in 2007.
Yup, that's our morning post. The Deadspin Beijing Bureau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org