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'2008 Beijing Olympics' category archive

USA beats China in an entertaining game

Sunday, August 10th, 2008
by John

Well, the game between China and the USA turned out as expected, with the Americans winning 101-70.

But I really enjoyed watching it because the pace of the game at the start was pretty frenetic. Here are a few other reasons:

First, Yao Ming‘s intensity. In the game’s first few minutes, he dove for a loose ball going out of bounds to save the possession while crashing into a row of photographers:

(Click here for more photos from the game)

Later he would draw a ton of cheers when Kobe Bryant took the ball into the lane and swatted it away for a demonstrative block.

Even near the end of the game when his team was down by 35 points, Yao battled hard for a couple of rebounds, was fouled, and the crowd cheered in appreciation for his effort.

After Yao checked out of the game with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 block, he was up off the bench when any of his teammates did well on the offensive end. That’s the most intense I’ve seen him when a game has been so out of reach! It was great to see Yao so “into” the game after not seeing him play for 6 months since suffering the stress fracture in his foot.

And let’s not forget there was that first shot he hit to start the game: a 3-pointer! That made the Chinese crowd go nuts!

Read the rest of this entry »

Yao named UN’s ‘Environmental Champion’

Saturday, August 9th, 2008
by John

Yao has been one busy guy lately. Today he was named the UN Environment Program’s (UNEP) first ever Environmental Champion.

Here’s his statement:

“As a sportsman, I believe sport has a major role to play in promoting environmental issues. So I will work with young people across the world and try to inspire them to plant trees, use energy efficient light bulbs, harvest rain water and to become environmental champions in their own communities.

“As the world celebrates the Beijing Olympic Games, I would also like to call upon the organizers of all major sports events in the world to make sure they use public transport facilities, build proper waste management systems and use greener forms for energy.

“Please join me in this global team effort.”

Here’s a link to the article.

Team USA excited to play in ‘the largest sporting event ever’ against China

Saturday, August 9th, 2008
by John

It’s good to see that the USA basketball team is extremely excited about their game against China on Sunday, both teams’ first game of the Olympics.

Carmelo Anthony is stoked. “I think close to 3 billion people are going to be watching that game,” said Anthony. “That’s what they say. That’s what I hear. That’s a lot of people.

“The atmosphere is going to be crazy. We’re playing against the home team to open up the Olympics, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be crazy and energetic in there. Everybody in that building is going to be jumping. It’s the biggest game on the biggest stage in the world.”

Chris Paul said, “Just thinking about this first game now, you get goose bumps. It’s something we’ll be able to tell our kids and our grand kids that we took part in the largest sporting event ever.”

Jason Kidd is also excited: “It’s going to be exciting. You can take a Game 7 and (multiply) it by seven. It’s going to be something that nobody’s experienced before. I don’t know if anybody’s had a president come to a game to watch them play before.”

Of course, Yao Ming is excited, too. “I will have to take a breath at the beginning of this game,” said Yao. “It is the start of the first Olympic Games to be played in China. It is the event that my country and I have been looking to for seven years, since Beijing was awarded the Games.

For the entire article, click here.

Opening Ceremony thoughts

Friday, August 8th, 2008
by John

I just got through watching the Opening Ceremonies a short while ago, and as I write this, viewers of the NBC broadcast in the Western and Mountain time zones haven’t seen the end of it. So I won’t spoil it for those folks, but I have to admit I was impressed.

First, I didn’t think Yao Ming leading the Chinese delegation carrying the country’s flag would be that big of a deal, especially since he had already done it in Athens in 2004. But this time it was different — he was doing it in front of his fellow countrymen, who were all screaming and yelling with glee. That element was HUGE, and I’m glad he had the honor to do it for a second time. Yao carrying the flag was more fitting than if he had run a short leg of the torch relay in the stadium. It was the right call.

Second, NBC gave tons of camera time to Yao, which was appropriate. At the end of the broadcast, Yao gave one of the best interviews I’ve ever seen from him, all while holding the 9-year boy who had survived the Sichuan earthquake, Lin Hao. The boy had helped save two fellow classmates after pulling himself out of the rubble. Both Lin Hao and Yao Ming represented their country well. You can tell Yao was very emotional about the ceremony he had just seen and participated in, and for what Lin Hao was fortunate to see firsthand. Yao said he almost cried. I almost did, too.

Finally, the way the torch was lit was unpredictable and majestic. Again, I won’t spoil it for the people in other timezones, but I was impressed. Good job Beijing!

More photos of Yao

Friday, August 8th, 2008
by John

Raymond has even more pics in the forum. Check ’em out right here.

Yao in the Opening Ceremonies

Friday, August 8th, 2008
by John

I’ve hit the mother lode of Yao photos at today’s Opening Ceremonies!

Here Yao carries the Chinese flag to lead his country’s delegation, accompanied by Lin Hao, a 9-year old survivor of the Sichuan earthquake.

Click here for a photo gallery of Yao at the ceremonies, which just finished a few hours ago.

Let the Games begin!

Friday, August 8th, 2008
by John

Here’s one of many photos that I sure to post today from the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.

Click here for a slideshow of photos from Reuters.

Here’s another one from NBCOlympics.com.

USA-China hoops preview

Friday, August 8th, 2008
by John

This USA Today article has this interesting take on the China-USA basketball game on Sunday:

The U.S. men’s basketball team’s opening game against host China on Sunday could be one of the most watched basketball games of all time, thanks to the 1.3 billion Chinese riveted by national icon Yao Ming.

Click here for the entire article

Yao and Pau pal around

Thursday, August 7th, 2008
by John

Yao Ming and Spain’s Pau Gasol ran into each other at Wukesong Indoor Stadium as their teams’ practices overlapped.

Click here for more photos from Yao & Pau’s chance meeting.

Confirmed report: Yao will carry the Chinese flag

Thursday, August 7th, 2008
by John

Here’s the article that confirms Yao will carry the flag for the Chinese delegation tomorrow.