Changing China

Giant on the move

Anthem for a new galaxy of stars

July 17, 2008

With China vying to topple the Americans from the top of the Olympic medals table, it got me thinking about the Chinese national anthem.

It’s always a moving moment after any final to see the winner trying to hold in the tears and sing along with gusto on the podium as their country’s flag is hoisted.

We can all hum along to the “Star-Spangled Banner” of the United States and “Advance Australia Fair” and probably take a fair stab at the anthems of Russia, Britain, France and Germany as the opening notes strike up.

But what about China’s? I confess I couldn’t even guess where to start.liu-xiang.jpg

It seems I’m not the only one left scratching my head. When Liu Xiang received his gold medal for the 60 metre hurdles during the world indoor championships in Valencia in March, organisers inadvertently played Chile’s anthem instead of China’s.

So, a swift Internet search later and here it is

China finished second in the table in Athens in 2004, with 32 golds compared to 36 for the United States. With the boost of hosting the Games and the massive investment in elite sport in China, the race to be top of the table is sure to be close this year so we’re bound to hear the Chinese anthem a lot.

No doubt we’ll be humming along too by the time the Games’ closing ceremony rolls around on Aug. 24.

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