China's other games
One especially cold week in early 2001, inspectors for the International Olympic Committee were in Beijing poking around in advance of making a recommendation as to whether the Chinese deserved to host the 2008 Summer Games.
It was the heart of a particularly bitter winter, so the dead grass outside the hotel of the IOC emissaries could be forgiven. Still, cameras for CNN caught workers spraying some green substance in the middle of the night to make it seem unseasonably lush. The China Daily would later refute that charge, denying it was paint, calling it, instead, a "color-enhancement substance."
Moral: Nobody should be surprised, as we peer ahead to this week's opening ceremonies for the Olympics, that things are not as the Chinese promised they would be. Painting the grass was only the most ridiculous and unnecessary lie they told to get this far, but it also symbolized just how absurdly far they'd go to secure this honor.
There were more than enough reasons in 2001 to know that this nation - operated by a brutal, greedy autocracy, more adept at stirring up nationalistic fervor than any since the Nazis - was faking its way to the altar with legacy-seeking IOC chief Jacques Rogge and the rest of his gang.
In fact, I listed several of them in these very pages on July 23, 2001. "When the free champagne stops flowing," I wrote then, ". . . those who were swept up in rooting for this accomplishment may wake to the reality that this could be a huge fiasco."
Honey, the alarm clock's ringing.Read the rest HERE