August 8th, 2008

So today’s the day.

Unfortunately the rain has not materialised and the city is still smothered in Beijing Summer Grey.

Watching Olympic football matches it seems Shenyang and Tianjin aren’t any better off air quality-wise, either. I noticed quite a haze for the China-Sweden women’s match in Tianjin, and Shenyang wasn’t much better for last night’s men’s matches between Brazil and Belgium and China and New Zealand.

The Brazil-Belgium game reminded me why I hate professional football so much. It was scrappy and cynical with almost as much time and energy spent diving, writhing and milking penalties as actually playing the game. And Brazil was unimpressive for such a strong footballing nation. The Beautiful Game it was not. China-NZ was fun, and the nail-biting finish had lzh making sure I calmed down once the final whistle blew. I found the reffing to be, well, interesting, but never mind. NZ- the Oly Whites it seems they’re being called- did us proud. I think they were out-played by China overall, but their defence was pretty good and China’s attack unconvincing. China, even though they dominated play and were much more aggressive, only managed a handful of attacks that actually looked threatening. Brockie’s goal for the Kiwis was brilliant, and fired up China. NZ held them off right up until the end, when China equalised. Still, a one-all draw is a pretty decent result. Brazil’s next up, followed by Belgium. It would be unrealistic, to say the least, to expect or even hope for a Kiwi win, but they showed what they can do and so long as they give it their best and put up a decent challenge, it’s all good.

The Kiwi women’s footballers are also doing alright, it seems, with a two-all draw with Japan. I don’t know who they’re up against next, but I hope I can watch a game of theirs, too.

Well, a decision: Men’s road cycling is on tomorrow, starting at Yongdingmen at 11am and heading up through Tianqiao before zig-zagging through the central city then out to a big Jundushan loop between Juyongguan and Badaling. Now that would be awesome to watch. Consulting the schedule, it seems no tickets are required. Just pick a spot by the side of the road and stay behind the barriers. I could easily get over to the Yondingmen/Tianqiao/northgate of Tiantan/Taijichang/Qianmen early section of the course, and the rest of the downtown stretch wouldn’t be difficult to reach, but unless I make the trek out to the Jundushan loop, all I’ll get to see is the cyclists whizz past. That’s it. It’d be over in a couple of minutes, max. And if I was to park myself on the side of the road somewhere up in the mountains, I’d be spending hours an end twiddling my thumbs waiting for the cyclists to whizz past again. Hardly seems worth it, even if NZ has a decent shot. Let’s face it, unless you’re one of the cyclists, this is the kind of sport best viewed on TV, and CCTV 2 has live coverage tomorrow afternoon from 1605 to 1750 (here’s their schedule- covering all CCTV channels, for those who read Chinese). Well, I suppose I could ride over towards Tianqiao or the north gate of the Temple of Heaven by 11 tomorrow morning, watch the cyclists whizz past, then get back home in time to deprive lzh of all TV rights from 1605 to 1750….. Decisions.

What else is on tomorrow? China vs Spain in women’s basketball at 1425 on CCTV 5/Olympic and China vs Venezuela in women’s volleyball on CCTV 1 at 1936. Oh, and I missed that- women’s single sculls is somehow mixed in with fencing beginning 1320 on CCTV 1, and the schedule confirms the heats begin at 1350.

Well, I haven’t really being enjoying all the malarkey associated with the Olympics, but with a bit of luck, the Olympic and CCTV schedules- and Stuff’s guide to when Kiwis are competing– and CCTV’s coverage permitting (and it never feels good to rely on CCTV for Olympic- or any sporting- coverage), and, naturally, lzh’s agreement when she’s at home, I think I should get to watch some pretty interesting sports over the next few weeks.

And apparently I’m a model worker. That’s pretty cool, especially in light of that comment by YZ. Thanks Danwei. But I recommend checking out all the other blogs listed there, they’re all much more worth your reading time than this. I also highly recommend checking out the Chinese-language model workers (if you read Chinese, of course). There are some excellent blogs on that list, and I’ve found a couple more I didn’t know about that I’m looking forward to reading. I think Chinese voices really do need more airtime in the outside world, and its great to see Danwei giving them equal weight- and for that reason I was very happy to see Fool’s Mountain on the list. Those guys do stellar work, and they get my vote for best newcomer.

Now, six hours to go….

2 Responses to “today”

  1. HairySwede Says:

    maybe the haze is why Sweden was upset by China in that opening game.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Could well be.