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China: No “Go China!” banners at the Olympics

Global Voices OlympicsThose attending the Olympics this year will be subject to the standard rules: no outside food or drinks, no sporting of commercial logos of any kind…but among all those is one rule which seems to have struck a nerve among many netizens, as evidenced by it having become the featured headline on many portal websites today: no “Go China!” banners will be allowed inside any Olympic venues.

Given the spectacles that took place during the Hong Kong and Shenzhen (and later) legs of the torch relay earlier this summer, a rule like will probably go a long way to prevent any heated or violent outbursts during the Games. At least, it's definitely creating a lot of heated discussion, and a lot of netizens are wondering: “Why?”

The simple answer is that no banners more than 2 meters in length and 1 meter in width are allowed at the Olympics. Chinese MySpace user Jiuduo is one of many netizens that have reposted the official prepared statement that's been circulating with the story today, presented as a conversation between an unnamed Xinhua reporter and an unnamed Beijing Olympic Games Organizing Committee spokesperson. Here's the question about the ban on “Go China!” banners:

记者:为何禁止携带诸如“中国加油”这样的横幅或标语牌?

北京奥组委:本届奥运会在北京举办,我们是主场,志愿者知道大家写的是“中国加油”,不是什么不好的话,但是其他200多个国家的观众写的文字我们都能看懂吗?让不让进?我们想象一下,在上届雅典奥运会或者下届伦敦奥运会,如果别人由于不认识中文而不让我们带着准备好的横幅进去,我们会是什么样的心情?

另外,奥运五环象征着五大洲的团结以及全世界运动员以公正、坦率的比赛和友好的精神在奥林匹克运动会上相见,奥运会的比赛精神是公平、公正的竞赛精神。我们要使奥运会超越一切意识形态,无论是中国、日本、美国,还是法国,所有人都能像奥运五环一样,大家开心地在一起享受盛事,增进彼此了解。如果现场出现各种各样的横幅一定会破坏这样的氛围,所以国际奥委会几十年来一直坚持制定这项规则。

Reporter: Why the ban on banners or posters such as “Go China!” being brought in?

BOGOC: This Olympic Games is being held in Beijing, and we are the hosts. Volunteers know that everyone will be writing “Go China!”, which isn't so bad in itself, but will we be able to read the signs written by the attendees from the other 200+ countries? Do we still let them in or not? If we think for a second, of the previous Olympic Games in Athens or the next Games in London, if they were to stop us from bringing in the banners we'd prepared because they can't read Chinese, how would we be feeling?

Also, the five Olympic rings represent the unity of the five continents, as well as the meeting of athletes from around the world for fair and open competitions at the Olympic Games in a friendly spirit; the spirit of Olympic Games competitions is a fair and just competitive spirit. We want the Olympic Games to transcend all political ideology, be it China, Japan, America or France, so that all people can be just like the Olympic rings, and everybody can enjoy the celebration together, happily, advancing understanding of one another. The appearance of all sorts of banners at the venues would surely ruin this kind of atmosphere, which is why for the past several decades the International Olympic Games Organizing Committee has consistently insisted on implementing this rule.

Or does the potential for UV-intensive displays of Chinese patriotism have nothing to do with this? From the comments section of Jiuduo's post:

为什么?那可以带其他国家“X国加油”的横幅吗?在自己家里不可以带真有点笑话了.

Why? So I can still bring other countries’ “Go [x country]!” banners? It's a joke that you can can't even bring these in your own home.

我带一长1.9,宽0.9的旗子进去成不?害怕就说害怕,别那么多冠冕堂皇的话。你说怕藏独举口号,没人说你怂,何必呢。

So can I still get in if I bring a 1.9m x .9m flag? If you're afraid, just say that you're afraid, and quit with the pompous language already. If you just say you're afraid of people shouting Tibetan independence slogans, nobody will blame you, so what's the point of this?

12 comments

  • Ben

    Don’t even bother to wonder why. CCP has its own twisted Ah-Q logic that defies common (Western?) sense. No Go CCP!

  • Knights

    I think China is mature in dealing with this childish china-hater matter. If China does NOT allow americans and anti-china followers bringing all kinds of weird signs, she also has to impose fair rules such as no “go china” banners. Just because the china-haters are racists, weird, and naive, that does NOT mean china people has to behave the same way at the olympics. . . after all she’s the host right?
    ;-)

  • Spelunker

    “Given the spectacles that took place during the Hong Kong and Shenzhen (and later) legs of the torch relay earlier this summer, a rule like will probably go a long way to prevent any heated or violent outbursts during the Games.”
    Excuse me; what spectacle took place during the Shenzhen leg of the Olympic torch relay? I thought I dispelled this rumor already on Danwei.

    The BOCOG reply to the reporter is a bunch of bamboo shoots (Chinese B.S.). Show me one example from Athens of a Chinese banner being disallowed at an Olympic venue. In fact, when Zhang Ning won her gold medal in women’s badminton in 2004, many of the people shouting for her and holding up banners were young Chinese studying in Greece. It’s an idiotic hypothetical question because there is no historical precedent for disallowing a banner that was written in Chinese.

    IOC rules strictly forbid political and advertising banners at competition sites, but I can’t find the rule stating that something as innocuous as “Go (insert country or athlete’s name)!” is banned. Sydney had rules for spectators clothing and signage: “Anyone wearing items advertising non-sponsors’ products or deemed to have a political or religious message will be asked to turn their clothing inside-out or have it removed. If they fail to do so they will be barred entry.”
    However Australia’s SOCOG (Sydney) allowed spectators
    to bring team support banners, even those written in Chinese:

    “During the Olympic table tennis tournament the Sydney Chinese shunted back and forth between the two Chinas, practicing their own Ping-Pong diplomacy. The fans decided to support players, shouting their names and not their countries and waving the red flag and stars of the motherland.
    The gold medal match between team mates Wang and Li became a spectacular five set exhibition that had the fans on their feet and cheering “Go, Go Wang” and “Go, Go Li” as the match see-sawed back and forth.
    Before the all-China match Wang had promised, perhaps superfluously: “We’ll play as hard as we can, but so long as China wins gold, we’re all happy.”
    The largest red banner in the stadium backed her up. It read in Chinese characters: “China is sure to win.”” *

    * (Chicago Tribune article, Sept. 24, 2000)

    A large “Free Tibet” banner was unfurled during a diving final at Athens, despite banners larger than 1 square meter being banned by the Athens Olympic Committee. Perhaps this incident at the last Olympics led BOCOG to think BOHICA and ban banners of any kind at China’s Olympic venues.

    I’m also amused by China’s official cheer, brought to you by BOCOG and the China Communist Party’s Office of Spiritual Civilization Development and Guidance: “奥运加油、中国加油” (Go Olympics, Go China)

    Variations of the official cheer were developed by the Beijing Etiquette Institute to teach Chinese spectators how to cheer for individual athletes as well as foreign athletes and teams. (“Go China! Go Yao Ming!” or “Go Brazil! Go Ronaldinho!”)

    I wonder how Chinese fans will modify the official cheer for Chinese Taipei’s ping pong players? Shouldn’t Beijingers learn the proper etiquette for cheering them as well? This brings us to the issue that is currently stickier than sushi rice; what to call the Chinese Taipei team in Chinese? Take Taiwan ping pong player Chang Yen-shu for example. Should Chinese people say
    中华加油! 张雁书加油! They should know that Chinese Taipei athletes romanize their names with the Wade-Giles system, so although Chang Yen-shu’s surname in English looks like the pinyin for 常 (Chang) it’s actually 张 (Zhang) in proper putonghua.
    It might also be a good idea for Chinese fans to learn how to say “Go Chinese Taipei!” in English, since 中国台北 might offend athletes and guests from Taiwan province. By speaking English, Chinese spectators avoid the Mandarin controversy and simultaneuosly show off their foreign language skills to the world’s TV audience.
    Here’s my advice: At all athletic arenas where Chinese Taipei athletes are competing, Olympic volunteers should be organized to hand out cards instructing Chinese fans how to correctly pronounce “Go Chinese Taipei” in English using the following Chinese characters: …
    “狗豺你死台呸!” (Gou Chai-ni-si Tai-pei!)

  • Sonagi

    “The simple answer is that no banners more than 2 meters in length and 1 meter in width are allowed at the Olympics. “

    If it’s a matter of size, not content (except for non-sponsors, profanity, and the like), then would small placards or letter cards be permitted?

    I hear the Chinese have planned cheering sections for each side in a competition. The Koreans did the same thing in 1988. After the boxing controversy, however, Korean spectators began cheering for whichever country was playing against the Americans. Officiating decisions, media coverage, and other controversies are part of any major sporting event. It’ll be interesting to see if Chinese spectators live up to apparently sportsmanlike tone being set by officials.

  • […] Also, the five Olympic rings represent the unity of the five continents, as well as the meeting of athletes from around the world for fair and open competitions at the Olympic Games in a friendly spirit; the spirit of Olympic Games competitions is a fair and just competitive spirit. We want the Olympic Games to transcend all political ideology, be it China, Japan, America or France, so that all people can be just like the Olympic rings, and everybody can enjoy the celebration together, happily, advancing understanding of one another. The appearance of all sorts of banners at the venues would surely ruin this kind of atmosphere, which is why for the past several decades the International Olympic Games Organizing Committee has consistently insisted on implementing this rule. globalvoicesonline […]

  • ali baba

    北京奥运史上最独裁?/居中人

    (博讯北京时间2008年7月15日 http://www.buxun.com
    Beijing Olympic,the most autocratic olympic game in history?

    北京奧運組委會發布『奧運場館觀賽規則』,禁示觀眾在觀看各項比賽時〝裸奔〞、也禁止觀眾穿戴相同或相似的服飾嚴禁攜帶旗幟,更不能進行政治活動和宗教行為。這場即將展開的北京奧運,恐怕是史上最獨裁的奧運會,不但觀眾表達情緒的方式要符合中共的要求,而且連運動員或觀眾以自已的宗教方式祈禱都成了問題。

    “Regulations on audience attanding Olympic games”,announced by the Beiing Olympic Committe,prohibit audience to “running in the nude”,also prohibit audience wearing same or similar clothes,absolute prohibit carrying flags,any political and religious activities is absolute NO NO.This coming Beijing Olympic,probably is the most autocratic olympic game in history,Chinese communist,not only decide for the audience on how to express their emotion,also decide for both athletes and audience how to pray on individual religious belief.
    運動員賽前不能向自已的上帝祈禱?熱愛自已球隊的熱情觀眾不能為其球隊祈禱?許多國家的國歌歌詞中,都帶有〝愿神佑我們的國家!〞,以上這些算不算是宗教行為呢?北京奧運場所只能揮舞中共的五星紅旗吧,相信有關部門一定會為入場的觀眾免費預備的,就象在海外為中國留學預備五星紅旗一樣。但其他國家的觀眾就不能揮舞本國的旗幟了?這种毫無人性,不知所謂的『奧運規則』,也只有中共這樣的政党才會想得出來。

    Can’t athletes pray to his or her own GOD before the game commence?Can’t fans pray for their beloved teams? In many countries national anthem,all have this phrase “God save our nation”,can all these be counted as religious activities?Olympic venues would only allow waving of 5 stars red flags ,I belive relevent department will provide free 5 stars red flags to all the audience,just like they did to oversea Chinese students.But what about audience from foregin countries waving their own national flags?These unhumane,rediculus “olympic game rules”,is out of anyone’s imagination but the Chinese Communist Party.

    試問在比賽中高呼〝美國加油〞、〝台灣加油〞算不算是政治行為呢?難道觀眾穿相似的印有2008奧運字樣的衣服,喊叫〝中國加油〞也會被視為攏亂場館行為了。隨著北京奧運會臨近,中共把這場〝盛會〞弄得愈來愈象當年的〝納粹奧運〞了。難道這就是中國還給世界的一個奇跡嗎?難道中共要以這類實際行動,向世人展示它成了今天世界的納粹黨?

    If one may ask,shouting “go on America”,”go on Taiwan” during the game,would that be counted as political activities?Don’t tell me when audience wearing clothes with similar signs of 2008 olympic letters,yelling “go on China” will be classed as disturbance of venues.With Beijing Olympic approaching,CCP more and more turns this “grand party” into the like of then “Nazi Olympic”.Don’t tell me this is a miracle that China gives to the World ? Don’t tell me CCP,using these kind of actions,shows to the world’s people,CCP=Nazi Party of today?

  • ali baba

    『天涯杂谈』培养几个壮汉丝毫解决不了东亚病夫问题

    作者:避而改词 提交日期:2008-7-15 9:37:00    
     
    Blog on Tianya.cn discuss olympic and “Sicked Man Of Asia” 

      那是七八年前的一个春天,我去丽江玩,在玉龙雪山的山腰,我们一行人租了几匹马骑。给我牵马的是一个小孩,很瘦小,“黑色”,才七八岁的样子。路上我和他攀谈,才惊诧他原来已经十五岁了。要在秦朝,这年龄就得扛着戈上战场。我好一阵震惊,问他可在念书。他说没钱念,可是很想念。我默然,因为那时我自己也是个穷鬼学生,帮不了他,除了付帐时多给他几十块,做不了什么。我问起他们以什么为主食,被告知是红薯。我道:“总不可能每顿红薯吧。”他说:“ 想得美,就算每顿吃红薯也不可能呢,山上寒冷,红薯产量极低,如果每顿能吃饱红薯,也心满意足了。”“也不是家家都这样的,我们村干部就还可以,他们家还有彩电呢。 ”见我惊诧,他补充了一句。
      
    It was Spring time,about 7 or 8 years ago,I went to Li Jiang to spend my holidays,at the half way up the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain,we hire a few horses to ride.The little boy that lead my horse was thin and small,with dark skin,looks like 7 or 8 years old.On the way we started talking,was surprised to know that he was already 15.In Chin dynasty,at this age,he would have been marching towards battle field with spear on his shoulder.Being shocked,I asked him was he studying.He said he would like to,but had no money.I fell into silence,because being a poor student myself,couldn’t help much,beside gave him extra 50 60 yuan when paying the bill,can’t do much.I asked what was the main diet,the answer was sweet potato.I thought: “Every meal sweet potato?A bit impossible.”He replyed:”You must be dreaming,even if we like to have sweet potato for every meal,there was just not enough sweet potato to go around,because of the mountain’s cold weather,the sweet potato production is very low,we would be happy and satisfied if there is plenty of sweet potato to fill the tummy at every meal.”
      
      
      中途休息,我见有一个小孩站在他身边,比他还矮半个头,看上去不过六岁。我问:“你几岁?”答曰:“十四。”真是可怕。我们乘坐的马租费是每个人五十元,可是这小孩说,马虽然是他家的,最后他只能拿到十块钱,其他四十元是要上交的,算村里收取的管理费。
     
    At half way resting time,I saw another little boy stood beside him,even shorter than him by a few inches,looked like 6 years old.I asked; “How old are you?”He replied: “14″. I feel terrible.We were charged 50 yuan for each horse we hired,but this little boy said,even though his family own the horse,at the end he only get 10 yuan,the other 40 yuan goes toward the village’s authority,called managment charges. 
        
      
      最后我逐渐不那么吃惊了,中国就是这样,当大山深处的同胞虚弱不胜鹑衣之时,我们早已喜滋滋地宣布,我们不再是东亚病夫,而是一个体育强国;当我们在城里的学生们围在电视机前,汗流浃背地为所谓冲出亚洲嗥叫之时,他们正在油灯下嚼着冰冷的红薯;当我们在为所谓球赛失利砸烂电视机时,他们有些人还不知足球和电视为何物;当我们投入大量纳税人的钱去维持那个体育强国的泡影时,他们这些被天生剥夺了发言权的人民同时丧失了受教育权,因为交不起学费……   
      
    At the end,slowly,I no longer feel surprised,China is just like that,in the middle of the mountain,our fellow countrymen are weak from hunger and with only rags on their bodies,we joyfully declare,we no longe are “Sicked Man Of Asia”,instead,we are a powerful nation of sports;In front of television sets,our students in towns and cities,howling for the nation to “Out Of Asia”,the mountain people,can only chew cold sweet potato under oil lamp;when we smash television sets because of losing soccer match,the mountain people don’t even know what is soccer nor television;when massive taxpayers’s money is pumped into sustaining this so called powerful sporting nation’s bubble,these people,their voice being taken away at birth,at the same time,lost the right of education,because they have no money to pay the fees.    
      
      回想几年前的这件事,让我知道,中国仍然是东亚病夫,而且这头衔还要保持很长一段时间,用专门培养几个壮汉的大跃进的方法解决不了。
      
    Because of this incidence,my conclusion is,China remains “Sicked Man Of Asia”,moreover,this title will stay for a long time,just to nurture and produce a numbers of “macho man”,like they did at the “Great Leap Forward”,will not help.

    作者:李信吾 回复日期:2008-7-15 9:56:14 

      很好!
      
      中国人其实就是自卑,特别自卑,越是自卑越是希望得到别人的承认,表面上特别的自负自大,容不得批评和异见,其实就是阿Q精神,心理病态.这种病态也反映在体育上,对金牌的狂热崇拜,完全看不到其他.

    Netizen 1 reply:
    Very good!
    In fact,Chinese is all about inferior complex,deep and profound,the more the feeling of inferiority,the stronger the desire of being accepted and recognized by outsiders,on the surface,Chinese are especially self-important and self-inflat,do not accept criticism and different opinions,in fact it is the “Spirit Of Ah Q”,psycho sickness,this sickness is also reflected on sports,the feverish worshipping towards gold medals,and complete ignoring of all others.

    作者:墨手 回复日期:2008-7-15 10:12:48 

      我们还TMD是睡狮呢,也不知道这么多年睡够了没

    作者:att100 回复日期:2008-7-15 10:13:36 

      为了虚荣,假装狂热而痛苦地挤在人群中随喜
      
      
      哈哈,其实大家都在随喜

    Netizen 2 reply:
    We TMD still are sleeping lions,and do not know so many years,has slept enough or not

    Netizen 3 reply:
    For this fake glory,pretain to be fanatic but painfully squeezd among the crowd pretain to be happy.
    HAHA,in fact every one is pretain to be happy.

    作者:aigyvfym 回复日期:2008-7-15 11:10:31 

      奥运金牌全拿了也是病夫一大片(精神上的 身体上的)
      
      以全国之力,养几个金牌。
      
      没有老百姓什么事哦。
      

    作者:无雨天霜 回复日期:2008-7-15 11:12:26 

      哎,中国那方面搞的不是形象工程呢?
      从毛泽东那个国内饿死人却拿大把钱物去救济非洲的时代开始就种下了根。
      这种作风已经深入骨髓,无处不在,要扭转,恐怕只有……

    Netizen 4 reply:
    Lets say we get all the gold medals,still have massive numbers of “Sicked Man”,both in spritual and physical sense.
    To use the whole country’s resourses,to nurture a few gold medals.
    Got nothing to do with us common folks.

    Netizen 5 replay:
    Well,is there anything CHINA does, not about window dressing?
    The root of evil was planted in Mao tse-tung era,when common folks were starved to death,yet massive amount of cash and resourses were shipped to Africa.
    This kind of practise is deep in the bone mellow,is everywhere,to reverse it,there is only on

  • Spelunker

    It’s official now; 中华台北加油! is the designated Olympic cheer to be used by spectators for Chinese Taipei’s team according to BOCOG’s announcement on July 25. All media in China have also been instructed to refer to the Chinese Taipei Olympic team and athletes as 中华台北 and not 中国台北.

  • ali baba

    中国官方承认中华民国台北队,后果严重. ( Q太郎 08-07-26 21:59:27 )

    Above post is from http://www.people.com

    Translate:China officially acknowledge the Taiwan team as Republic of China Taipei Team,creates a sreious consequence.

    中华台北 = 中华民国台北

    中华民国 vs 中华人民共和国

  • ali baba

    川人 translate Sichuen man, another regular blogger at boxun.com.

    北京奥运鬼气足 殉葬尸身墓中舞/川人(图)
    (博讯北京时间2008年7月31日
    坟前奥运 Olympic in front of tomb

    世界著名的马屁作家、山东省作协副主席王兆山6月6日曾发表诗词《江城子•废墟下的自述》,假冒地震遇难者的名义、侮辱死难者的人格,写出无耻之极的阿谀之词:
    World famous horse fart author,Wang chou-san,vice chairman of Shang Tung author’s association,on 6-June issued a poem he wrote 江城子 ” Self Description under the Rubble”,impersonating quake victims,insulting the human dignity of the deads, he shamelessly wrote a kiss-ass poem:

    天灾难避死何诉,
    Natural disaster unavoidable,already dead,needless to complain,
    主席唤,总理呼,

    Chairman and prime minister shouting n calling
    党疼国爱,
    The party cherishs you,the state loves you

    声声入废墟。
    All these calls of love,echo under the rubble.
    十三亿人共一哭,纵做鬼,也幸福。
    1.3 billion’s synchronized weep,
    shouldn’t you all be happy, you fortunate ghosts.

    银鹰战车救雏犊,左军叔,右警姑,
    Silver planes and armoured-cars, rescuing children
    soilders and police-woman abundance

    民族大爱,亲历死也足。
    This grand love of the whole nation
    Once received
    is enough to die a happy death

    只盼坟前有屏幕,看奥运,同欢呼。
    Only wish for a TV in front of the tomb
    Lets watch OLYMPIC together,and cheer in unison.

    人们只要把王大作家的杰作与张大导演的杰作联系起来,便能看出北京奥运果然是一场别国绝对办不出来的坟前奥运。  
    Once you compare this classic poem by grand master Wang and the olympic masterpiece by grand director Zhang Yi-mou,you can clearly see that this “Olympic in front of tomb”,is something that no other nation can do.

    词曰:江城子 坟前奥运

    人祸经年亿民苦,
    Years after years of man-made disasters
    billions suffer in bitterness
    假共和,办奥运,
    Fake republic staging olympic,

    党欢匪爱,坟前立屏幕。
    The party is jubilant,the rascals love it
    TV screen in front of tomb.
    坑内葬品齐出土,
    All things inside grave resurface,

    僵尸跳,鬼起舞。
    Vampires jump,ghosts dance.
    争宠献媚觅钱途,
    Competing for favors
    Eager to please
    Money is the bottom line

    词兆山,导艺谋,舔痔俱一流。
    Wang’s poem,Zhang’s show
    First class ass licking
    癫狂过后又何如?
    What comes after crazy carnival?

    看怒火,照神州
    Flames of anger,in ful fury on sacred land.

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