Changing China

Giant on the move

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Those moving medal moments…

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Isinbayeva on the podiumRemember the Black Power salutes from the podium in Mexico 1968?

The 2008 Beijing Olympics medal ceremonies might not produce anything to match that, but there has been no shortage of drama so far.

In the full emotional spectrum, we have had:

Anger – Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian stormed off the podium to dump his bronze on the mat in a protest against referees.

Tragedy – German weightlifter Matthias Steiner promised his dying wife he would honour her in Beijing, and clutched his gold next to a photo of her.

Confusion – Gymnastics fans still had their calculators out to decipher how American Nastia Liukin came second to China’s He Kexin after their identical score of 16.725 was decided by a convoluted tiebreak system.

Do athletes gain or lose from stripping off for the cameras?

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Amanda BeardMore and more athletes are baring all for the cameras, something which can help give them more marketing clout in a competitive marketplace and perhaps help fund their careers while they are on the field, in the pool, and afterwards.

With the Olympics underway U.S. swimmer Amanda Beard, high jumper Amy Acuff and figure skater Katarina Witt are all appearing in a special Olympic spread in the August edition of Playboy. American swimmer Dara Torres is featured in men’s mag Maxim and Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice in FHM.

Jamaicans show how to relax ahead of the Games

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Jamaican team in a relaxed moodMy colleague Balazs Koranyi blogged yesterday about how hard it is for athletes in the build-up to the Games, when their preparations are pretty much complete and there’s too much sit and think.

Well, maybe not every athlete. The Jamaican track and field team had no qualms about letting their hair down and showing off their considerable assets at a pre-Games party this week.

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