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Beijing 2022 - your midway verdict


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Was gonna start this thread on the weekend but forgot.

We're past the midway point now, but what is your midway verdict?

Like my parents said: sterile. And I have to agree. Even if covid was out of the way I'm wondering how lively the atmosphere would be. Very much missing the fan atmosphere, the cultural vignettes during the CBC broadcast, athletes goofing off and winning the crowd, etc. The stuff that makes the games a truly joyous and talked about event. Even domestically here in Calgary, you ask people "are you watching the Olympics?" and most reply with a no. Sad times. Take your vaccines and may this covid BS disappear for 2024, and hope that a war doesn't erupt in the coming days.

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The actual competitions are fine, if harmed by the lack of snow (until a suspiciously heavy blizzard came up, that is - very convenient...hmmm...). The only real upsetting things there were the dubious mixed ski jumping team event where the judges had way too much influence and the clear favouring of Chinese athletes in Short Track.

The damage to the IOC's reputation from these Olympics can hardly be undone though, even if the next five hosts will all be "safe" choices (and that's the card the IOC will be playing to no end as from the moment the closing ceremony is over - they will completely pretend as if Beijing never happened and just move on to Paris as their lifeboat).

Of course, there's Covid and all that comes along with it, but the totalitarian control freaks in the Xinese government, their despicably wheeling on/off of that Uyghur cross-country skier to pretend everything is fine, the IOC playing along just like with the Peng saga, and as icing on the cake the Valieva scandal - it's just all too much really.

 

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In the approach to Tokyo, I also felt there was little excitement and anticipation to the games, but by the time time the action got underway it reawakened the old appetite and I enjoyed them immensely.

Here, while I admittedly approached them with foreboding, I’ve assiduously watched competitions on every day and for the very first time for me at this stage of an Olympics I’m sad to say I’m just ready for them to finish. I’ve just really not felt a vibe or excitement in them. And it’s not just that their winter games _ I loved watching Vancouver and Sochi, but this time I think there’s only been one event I got mildly excited during. Just not feeling them. 

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Completely unbiased, its gone as well as it could have for China.  No significant corona issues.  No media talking about people disappearing.  No magnifying glass on the communist party.  It's Russia, again, who cant seem to help themselves, but again get off with no issues.  And they might start a war, and that would take any and all terrible optics off of China, who again, I admit begrudgingly have held a pretty decent games so far.  I mean we have our token jokes about the food and the facilities, which have been a thing since Sochi, but nothing that has made me "get out the popcorn" like I was expecting.

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When I was watching the men's downhill. One of the commentators said that athletes that have been to the Olympics since 2010 have all be saying the same thing. The last great atmosphere Games was 2010. Nothing has come close to Vancouver since. Beijing is not even close to 2008 and there has not been a Phelps or a Bolt to wash over the general meh of the games.

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3 minutes ago, iceman530 said:

TL/DR, its been the perfect Chinese Olympics.  Sterile, synthetic energy, completely controlled optics, fake.  Its going exactly how they want.  Its how it will be remembered, too.

Just wait until they turn in the "Official Report."  If the experience of 2008 was any indication, it'll be an even greater charade.  

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Yes China has changed since 2008 and not for the better...and you do have to factor in COVID....no cheering crowds, no partying athletes, no vox-pops by journalists walking around the streets etc...

I think these isolated winter 'Olympic park hubs' are sterile by their very nature. They are 'artificial' ski places thrown up overnight. They aren't near anything. They have no history or village. People are bused in and bused out again.

I said to my partner lets go away for he weekend. He said 'but its the Olympics'...I just shrugged my shoulders.....sad.

Paris/Milan/ LA and Brisbane will be the very opposite- vibrant dynamic and FREE places.

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I think its fine, most of the sports are made for TV not for being there in person. Obviously the only decent atmospheres were when the Chinese were winning gold medals. 

Those who say that China isn't a traditional winter sports country, look again, they are tied to Austria on the Medal table. 

But I do think it was much better than Tokyo in terms of organisation and atmosphere also common sense prevailed when they allowed a limited amount of fans to enter.

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8 hours ago, TorchbearerSydney said:

Yes China has changed since 2008 and not for the better...and you do have to factor in COVID....no cheering crowds, no partying athletes, no vox-pops by journalists walking around the streets etc...

I think these isolated winter 'Olympic park hubs' are sterile by their very nature. They are 'artificial' ski places thrown up overnight. They aren't near anything. They have no history or village. People are bused in and bused out again.

I said to my partner lets go away for he weekend. He said 'but its the Olympics'...I just shrugged my shoulders.....sad.

Paris/Milan/ LA and Brisbane will be the very opposite- vibrant dynamic and FREE places.

The Milan games will feel like just a bunch of different world cup events due to the large distances between venues separated by mountain passes.

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9 hours ago, Faster said:

When I was watching the men's downhill. One of the commentators said that athletes that have been to the Olympics since 2010 have all be saying the same thing. The last great atmosphere Games was 2010. Nothing has come close to Vancouver since. Beijing is not even close to 2008 and there has not been a Phelps or a Bolt to wash over the general meh of the games.

I disagree Sochi had the best atmosphere of the 21st century especcially with it being so close together and in real mountains with real snow

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Games have been ok.... not amazing but also not a disaster.

For me i tend to focus on my go to winter games sports of Figure skating, curling and the sliding events. All of the others i wouldn't normally watch anyway unless they are on tv in the background.

For me as i get older i think that life just gets in the way of watching and enjoying the games as i used to. By the time i factor in work, working out, life events etc, i tend to not have the time to sit down and enjoy. The last 3 ceremonies for example have all been just past midnight here in nz so not the same buzz for me.

 

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12 hours ago, philipp morgenstern said:

I disagree Sochi had the best atmosphere of the 21st century especcially with it being so close together and in real mountains with real snow

Oh yes, because with a peak twice as hill and length 70x greater, the Coastal Mountains are just a little hill.

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Good organization so far, despite the controversies which were to be expected considering who was hosting (both politics and regarding some alleged bias from the judges toward the Chinese team, but to be fair most host nations have always received favors whenever they host the games. At least they weren't as obvious as Russia in 2014). There have been a couple of very good sport moments, and i've enjoyed the jump skiing and hockey events so far. 

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Technically, the events seem to be well organized and going rather smoothly. After some Covid cases and controversies over quarantine conditions in the beginning, their bubble seems to hold (for now) or at least they're doing a good job of making it seem so. What bugs me is the lack of enthusiasm from spectators unless China wins gold. Not that this comes as a surprise, though. As usually, political controversy has cooled down once the events got going.

From a German perspective, these games seem a lot like Sochi with dominance at sliding events saving an elsewise mediocre result. The ski jumpers had problems with the ski jumps until the very end, the ice hockey team couldn't keep up with the high expectations set before the games, the Bithletes don't exactly have their best season. Lots of 4th and 5th places as well.

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