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Net users decry China snub in Rio video

By Deng Xiaoci (Global Times)    09:01, August 23, 2016

Angry citizens say closing film is latest in series of missteps by organizers

Brazilian singer Mariene de Castro sings as rain extinguishes the Olympic flame during the closing ceremony for Rio Olympics at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 21, 2016. [Photo by Wei Xiaohao/chinadaily.com.cn]

An official video shown during the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games on Monday featured only one brief image of a Chinese athlete, drawing expressions of strong dissatisfaction from Chinese Net users.

The 2-minute video revisited classic moments from the Rio Games and featured several well-known athletes, including US swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, as well as many Brazilian Olympians. None of the shots featured a single Chinese athlete until the end, when an image of Chinese swimmer Shi Jinglin flashed by briefly.

"Did the Chinese team not participate in the Rio Games? It seems the host country still holds a grudge over their loss to the Chinese women's volleyball team," commentator Bai Yansong said during the live broadcast on China's Central Television (CCTV) on Monday.

Bai's complaint immediately gained wide support from Chinese Net users, with as many as 14,000 voicing their agreement in comments on a related post on CCTV news' official Sina Weibo account.

Most netizens battered Rio Games organizers, calling them "narrow-minded." One Weibo user wrote, "It must be hard for Brazil to avoid China's altogether 70 medal-claiming moments."

"It is ridiculous to show the Japanese men's table tennis team as the best memory of the events in Rio in the video, since China claimed all the ping-pong gold medals," wrote another Net user.

Netizens' disappointment is understandable, since China is among the top three in the medal tally, said Hu Xingdou, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, adding that China deserves more respect as one of the world's most influential nations.

Hu said the incident also reminds citizens to invest more in improving the nation's overall athletics level in order to win the respect and admiration of the international community rather than focusing on the gold medals won under the State-run sports system.

Some Net users slammed the Rio Games for setting up obstacles for China, including unfavorable disputed calls in events such as men's boxing and women's gymnastics and the raising of flawed Chinese flags during award ceremonies.

Zhang Yiwu, a professor and cultural scholar at Peking University, said that citizens should not take these incidents personally or as a sign that Brazil is singling out China on purpose, since these problems were due to many technical oversights by Rio organizers.

Ren Hai, an Olympic studies expert at Beijing Sport University, said that it is possible that some referees may have been bribed, but he cautioned that political factors should not be taken into consideration since the referees in question are from different countries and officiated in different events.

Ren advised Chinese people to make efforts to fight for their rights in major problems, such as the national flag issue, while they should not be upset by trivial issues such as a brief promotional video, as long as Brazil has not violated any rules or principles. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Yuan Can,Bianji)

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