Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Beijing Olympics Sanctioned Cheering...or Cannibalism?

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing organizers are promoting an officially sanctioned chanting routine for Chinese spectators at August's Olympics, state media said Thursday.

Incorporating the ubiquitous Chinese sporting chant, "Jiayou" or "add oil," the four-step routine is designed to help spectators cheer in a "smooth and civilized manner" at the August 8-24 Games.

The chant will be promoted by television programs, video presentations and squads of cheering volunteers at the venues as well as by the education ministry, the People's Daily reported.

The routine begins with "Olympics -- add oil" accompanied by two claps and a double thumbs up, before continuing with "China -- add oil" with two more claps and raised fists.

The "China" and "Olympics" can be replaced to allow support for other countries or individuals, the paper said.

Possible lack of sporting etiquette has been a major concern for city authorities during preparations for the Games and a series of educational programs have been instituted.

Users of public transport in the Chinese capital are briefed on the rules of Olympic sports on special television screens, while special projects have taken place in many city schools to teach the children about the history of the Games.

"Add oil"?!?! What does it all mean? Are Chinese observers really cheering on their statesmen, or making a stir fry with foreign opponents?

I am reminded of a Twilight Zone episode:

Don't go to the Olympics! They will eat you!!!

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