Ready, set, GO! Yesterday was the last day of athletics events at the Paralympics, and a great way to spend my birthday. The Bird’s Nest was so hazy that you could barely see the other side of the stadium, but once an hour of torrents poured down the humidity halved and it was exceptionally clear for the rest of the evening. I was a little concerned though at the ethics of allowing races to continue when it’s p!ssing down buckets. Sure, it also rained when I went to some Olympics events in the Bird’s Nest but they called off running races then – but they didn’t call off the Olympic javelin throw during the same rainy session. It was really unfair because those poor javelin ba$tards were face-planting after they’d thrust their lengthy spear, and they’d put a hand over the line trying to save their teeth from contacting the ground and the throw would be disqualified. For the track events at the Paralympics, rain was also no obstacle. It makes you wonder what the prerequisites are for canning a race – money? Broadcasting? Countries? Events? Maybe they left the track events because the wheelchairs gripped the track better, and because they thought they could trick the blind class of athletes. It’d be like stealing candy from a baby – “It’s perfectly safe to run … that’s not rain, we’re just hosing you down so you stay cool. You look like you’re dehydrating, I’m not turning off this tap. Why that’s just the thunderous applause!”.
The main reason I bought tickets for last night was to see this:
I filmed the whole race but didn’t get to really sit back and appreciate it because I had one eye on the camera screen and one on the track. I’d upload the whole video and blog it here but it would take about half an hour to upload it, only for NBC to pay someone way too much money to scour the internet and serve injunctions on the website because don’t you know they purchased all rights to my eyeballs, my camera and my SD card long ago without me knowing it. I’ll show you it sometime if I have my laptop handy. The guy is a machine, no pun intended!
It would’ve been difficult for me to “sit back and appreciate” the race anyway because the Paralympics has been quite different from the Olympics – it’s Chinese again. Since the Olympics has finished and noone got any tickets, sales for the Paralympics have been crazy, particularly for the Water Cube and Bird’s Nest which have become tourist icons in their own right. Seats are somehow unallocated and the problem of the embarrassing empty seats seen during the Olympics has been solved by giving out heaps of tickets to students, to the effect that there were more people in the 91,000 seat stadium than there were seats. So when I say it’s Chinese again, there were just throngs and throngs of people watching the events. But the *quality* of the people was … more representative of the China I know and love. Whereas only the connected, lucky or upper-middle class by and large managed to secure tickets for Olympic events, the patient were instead rewarded with Paralympics tickets. I saw heaps of out-of-towners, old clueless comb-over guys with a handful of black teeth between them and … just farmers really, who had camped outside the ticket office days in advance for a chance to touch the Olinpeek. Security weren’t even trying to get these guys to sit down (we can’t see *through* you), be quiet (they’re blind and kinda need their ears), or keep the stairwells and emergency exits clear. After all, the Olympics were over and the world sadly doesn’t care as much about the Paralympics – which means we don’t have to bother with any of these silly rules and rights that we just pretended to adhere to while everyone was paying attention to us during the Olympics. Yup, it was very much back to business for China at the Bird’s Nest yesterday. Hey, we don’t have to QUEUE UP ANYMORE!!! Even though I wasn’t harassed by security or volunteers this time around like I was everywhere I fkn went during the Olympics it was still a pain, a b!tch and a little intimidating. Thank God no Japs beat Chinese athletes in any events, otherwise there would’ve been a massacre. Weighing up the lesser of two evils, I think I preferred the organisation around the Fascist Games more than the Chinese Games.
I thought I was the sh!t for taking this photo last night, but it looks a little blurred full-size:
In other news: it’s my last day of work! Damn, that went fast, was insanely busy and stressful and the funnest job I’ll ever have. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Moving on to other stories: today’s T-Shirt of the Day was captured using a cellphone, so apologies for the poor quality. While it’s a little blurry I think I’m correct in reading off “Binjeig 200(8)”: