The opening ceremony last week in Beijing was quite memorable. The sheer magnitude of the spectacle was, in fact, almost unbelievable. When former Olympic medalist and millionaire clothing designer Li Ning made his lap around the roof of the Bird’s Nest without falling or extinguishing his torch, China must have breathed a collective sigh of relief. The whole thing went off without a hitch.
But a bit of controversy has come to the surface recently. Remember that little flying singer with the pig-tails who almost stole the entire show? According to the ceremony’s music director, Chen Qigang, she was simply mouthing the words.
That’s not really a controversy. Singing in front of so many people is a lot to ask of someone so young.
But wait. The little girl, Lin Miaoke, was not even supposed to be part of the show. She was a replacement for the original singer, seven-year-old Yang Peiyi. Yang was not going to lip-sync. What happened? A sore throat? Stage fright?
Government officials and the ceremony’s producers decided to cut Yang in favor of Lin because Yang, with her crooked teeth and baby-fat cheeks, was deemed too ugly.
Chen explained: “The reason why little Yang was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image…”
Yang’s voice was still heard on the stadium’s sound system. Apparently, Lin didn’t have the singing chops to match her good looks.