Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mysteries of the Olympics

So before the Olympics started, I read a few articles in the newspaper about how some people are all riled up because some committee wanted Taiwan's team to be called Chinese Taipei. And as far as I knew that's what Taiwan's international teams are always called. To me, it seems like a stupid name, but nothing to get riled up about, especially when it's been the standard for so long.

Then last week I'm at a lunch shop and the news is on (in Chinese) and they're talking about this controversy and it turns out Taiwan's team has always been called Zhong-hua Taipei (like Chinese the language Taipei) and this committee wanted them to be called Zhong-guo Taipei (like Chinese the country Taipei). Oh! Now I see.

(Disclaimer: I kind of think this is not a real controversy and was only invented by the newspaper and TV station to have something to write about). I think it's still Zhong-hua Taipei.


I don't have TV but I've read a little on the Olympics. My big mystery now is, why are all the fastest athletes in the world almost the exact same speed? I can see in a super-short race but even like the 400 m swim races come down to less than a second. Also I read how one swimmer "held himself back" in the qualifying round and was like a half second slower than his world-record time. How do you hold yourself back like that?

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