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Reuters blog archive

from Changing China:

Day six at the Games: Roger Federer’s miserable year

FedererRoger Federer came to Beijing hoping for a singles gold medal to ease the pain of losing the last two major finals and his number one ranking to Rafa Nadal.

Tennis at the Olympics may rank far below the Grand Slams but considering he has not won one of those this year a gold medal would still have served very nicely, thanks very much.

Sadly for the Swiss, he lost 6-4 7-6 to James Blake in the quarter-finals on Thursday, a miserable day all round given the rain that was falling.

The Williams sisters also went out, double Olympic champion Venus beaten 7-5 7-5 by China's Li Na and Serena losing to Elena Dementieva.

from Changing China:

Move over Mr Phelps, the real Games are about to begin

Tyson Gay

Michael Phelps and the swimming have been great, I've really enjoyed the beach volleyball, the Greco-Roman wrestling has been interesting and I've even watched the archery.

All in all, the last six days have been a really good warm up, but now I'm ready for the real action, which it does on the track in the Bird's Nest Stadium on Friday morning.

from Changing China:

Beijing Games: picture of the day

pic1408

Gary Hershorn writes: Photographers at the Olympics are always waiting for the cliché medals ceremony images, those being a bite or kiss of the medal.

As corny as they may be, once in awhile the framing all comes together and actually produces a nice photo that newspapers love to publish. Alain Bernard kissing his gold medal after winning the men's 100 meters freestyle final was one such photo.

from Changing China:

The school of hard knocks

YanezLuis Yanez, a pocket-sized 19-year-old from Duncanville, Texas, wipes his sore nose with his bandaged hand and catches his breath, showing off a string of broken down teeth.

Grandly nicknamed the Latin Legend, he has been working at a Mexican restaurant in the Dallas area since the age of 13.

from Changing China:

Story of the day: Blind archer targets fuzzy yellow, gold

Legally blind archer

Peter Rutherford had an interview today with South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun, who has already won one gold medal at these Games and is favourite for the individual title despite being legally blind.

Im's eyesight is listed at 20/200 by the Korea Archery Federation, which basically means he can see at 20 feet what a person with perfect vision can see at 200 feet.

from Changing China:

The bin-scavenging Olympics

food courtListening to journalists bellyache about how tough life is at the Games gets old pretty quickly, but there is one genuinely frustrating aspect of the Beijing media beat -- finding something to eat.

The Main Press Centre has a cavernous dining area with food from around the world but reporters out at the venues are typing to the sound of rumbling stomachs -- with nothing more than a few nuts and berries available anywhere near the stadiums.

from Changing China:

Hop on the Olympics-mobile

pinheadOne of the more entertaining things about these Olympics for me has been seeing Chinese people of all ages and backgrounds find their own ways of expressing enthusiasm for the Games.

Some have bordered on the bizarre.

One man stuck a couple of hundred mini flagpoles in his head to show his support. Another guy I saw walked down the sidewalk in front of the Bird's Nest, in a red dress and high heels, with a crown crafted out of palm leaves on his head and a big Chinese flag draped over each shoulder (wish I'd had a camera with me!).

from Changing China:

Beijing Games: picture of the day

Phelps underwater

Gary Hershorn writes: Underwater photography is a tricky thing to get right but Germany-based photographer Wolfgang Rattay has perfected the art of making dramatic images from a most unusual angle.

Today's photo of Michael Phelps winning his 10th all-time gold medal (the 11th came later) was perfect in its beauty and painting like feel. The image captured Phelps in the lead and on his way to gold.

from Changing China:

Phelps is so good the rest have their sights on silver

Phelps’s mother kisses her sonPoor Laszlo Cseh, the Hungarian who twice in these Games has finished second to Michael Phelps, was quite frank when asked by a reporter whether he had thought, during Wednesday's 200m butterfly that he could actually beat Michael Phelps.

"It never even crossed my mind," he said.

That should tell you everything about how much better Phelps is than his rivals -- they know they are swimming for silver medal at best and that can't be much fun.

from Changing China:

Olympics has an Audrey Hepburn moment

Rings in the ceremonyFirst it was the fireworks (see below). Now it turns out the opening ceremony to the Beijing Games had its very own Audrey Hepburn moment.

Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who was celebrated across China as the angelic voice with the adorable face who sang "Ode to the Motherland" at Friday's ceremony, was merely a photogenic stand-in for the real singer, who was rejected because of her appearance.

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