Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The 2008 Olympic Games Can't Fill The Stadium

In truth, it seemed like only yesterday that confident predictions of full houses at every Olympic event were being advanced by organizers of these Olympic Games.

However, the predictions have not proven to be accurate with a noticable lack of spectators attending most competitive venues.
In fact,many events in Beijing 2008 have been held in front of empty seats. This has lead Olympic organizers to admit that they are using "volunteers" to fill some of those empty seats at different Olympic venues.

After computer animated fireworks and lip syncing little girls in the Opening Ceremony in Beijing 2008, the world should not really be to surprised by China's use of fake fans at many of the Olympic Games venues.

These fake fans are easily recognizable and have been attending in large numbers. These yellow-shirted "cheerleaders" are recruited to create an atmosphere and to prevent the embarrassing spectacle of empty seats from appearing on television.

Meanwhile, the world has been told that all 6.8m tickets for the Games have been sold. So, what is going on here? The vast majority of tickets have been sold to Chinese nationals but despite the assurances of the organizers, Olympic enthusiasm has not been sufficient motivation for them to take up their seats.

Also,consider that global sponsors, who are each paying tens of millions of dollars to be associated with these games are reportedly complaining that few visitors have been let through to see their pavilions.

It is a spectator no show of Olympic proportions. Tight security, difficult access to the Olympic location and ticket scaping by Chinese officials that were given free tickets are contributing factors. In addition,humid,rainy weather and an apparent lack of interest in the preliminary events are also being blamed.

The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China can't fill the stadium, even with the help of all those fake cheering fans.

(Photograph of empty seats at the women's beach volleyball tournament by: Georgios Kefalos/EPA)

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