Citizenship Flexibility at the Olympics Is a Good Thing

At a recent family sing-along in the upper peninsula of Michigan, we dusted off John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The lyrics made me think about the Olympics. Could we imagine the Olympics without national teams? Imagine a world where the best athletes are able to compete. This is definitely not the current Olympic system. The country quota […]

Teeny, Tiny Gymnasts

There has been endless speculation during the Beijing Olympics as to whether the Chinese gymnasts are old enough to compete under Olympic rules, which require participants to turn 16 in the year that they compete. Blog reader Chris Bourdon decided to stop talking about it and actually do some interesting data analysis. Here is the […]

Today’s China: Communist Millionaires, Kissing Contests, and Oh Yes, the Olympics

Liu Heung Shing Liu Heung Shing was Time magazine’s first photojournalist based in Beijing; his earliest work covered the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. He has since worked for the Associated Press in Beijing, Los Angeles, New Delhi, Seoul, and Moscow. His books include China After Mao and USSR: Collapse of an Empire, and […]

Our Daily Bleg: Will Olympic Cyclists Race Against Their Own Countrymen?

We’ve been quiet on the cycling front here for quite some time, although the topic has come up many times in the past. Now a reader named Kevin O’Toole writes in with an interesting Olympics scenario, which I’ll post here in the form of a bleg. The primary question to answer is whether cycling may […]

Man vs. Man and Nature at the Beijing Olympics, Round Two

Back in May I blogged about the Chinese government’s plans to keep it from raining during the Olympics, as well as their pollution reduction efforts. The latest phase of the pollution fight is now kicking in: banning half the cars from the roads each day based on whether the license plate number ends in an […]

Suits — Not Steroids — Skew Olympic Swimming

Most swimmers competing in the Bejing Olympics this summer believe they will fail without a new $600 swimsuit, The Economist reports. In February Speedo introduced its LZR swimsuit and 38 of the 42 world swimming records broken since then were by swimmers wearing the suit — which has no seams and takes 20 minutes to […]

Man vs. Man and Nature at the Beijing Olympics

The Chinese think they can keep it from raining on the National Stadium during the Olympics. The Chinese Weather Modification Office employs nearly 53,000 people — it would have been simpler to just build the stadium with a roof. But mandating that the Chinese people cease and desist may prove an easier task for the […]