AsianWeek’s Most Memorable Moments of the 2008 Beijing Olympics

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A look at AsianWeek’s most memorable moments of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

1. Chinese Gymnasts – Age in Question

Perhaps one of the most controversial moments in Olympic Gymnastics history. The legitimacy of the gold medals won by China’s women’s gymnastics team was in question based on their age. This prompted the IOC to begin an investigation on the Chinese Gymnasts beginning with He Kexin, along with a global discussion regarding China’s ethical practices in world competition.

2. Spanish Olympians -Racist Photos

Photos of Spanish Olympians in various sports (men and women’s basketball, tennis) making “slant-eye” gestures outraged many Asians/Asian Americans all over the world. More photos are being uncovered from other countries like Argentina (pictured, women’s soccer team).

3. Lin Miao-ke Lip Syncs for Singer Yang Peiyi at the Opening Ceremony

Lin Miao-ke was lip-syncing to the sound of Yang Peiyi, a 7-year-old singer, who did not appear on stage because she was deemed not cute enough. “The reason was for the national interest,” said Chen Qigang, musical director of the Olympic ceremonies. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression. … Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects.” The decision was made at the highest levels, Chen said. “We had to do it,” he said.

4. Opening Ceremonies 08/08/08 8:08pm – One of the Greatest in Olympic History

The 2008 Olympic Ceremony held at the Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird’s Nest) held at 08/08/08 at 8:08pm CST was labeled by many media as one of the greatest Olympic opening ceremonies. It was filled with music, dancing, a great display of fireworks, and speeches from the President of the PRC and Olympic committee executives.

5. Bryan Clay – The World’s Greatest Unknown Athlete

The decathlon is considered the toughest sports in the Olympics. Winners, gold medalists, and fellow competitors in Track and Field have been historically glorified on Wheaties boxes and in the media (Dan O’Brien, Micheal Johnson, Carl Lewis, and Jackie Joyner Kersee to name a few ). But, for some reason, it all stopped with Bryan Clay. After winning the gold medal in the event for the US, the Asian American hasn’t been given enough credit or spotlight when it is certainly due.

6. Kevin Tan – US Gold Slips Away

One of the biggest disappointments for the US men’s gymnastics team was Kevin Tan‘s performance on the pommel horse. Tan had perhaps the worst performances of his career. Team USA was in second place going into the final round, when Tan blanked on the horse. Instead of continuing to move to hide the error, Tan completely stopped. The judges gave him a final score of 12.775 and the US Olympic commentators didn’t hide their emotions. Many believe this resulted in the US not winning the gold.

What are your most memorable moments of the 2008 Beijing Olympics? Share them and we’ll put them up!

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