Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The fake Beijing Olympic Games
Jan 25, 2022, 4:00 PM
(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s going to look like the Winter Olympics at the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games. Sorta the way they’re remembered here in Utah. But, not quite the same. Not really.
Same song and everything … but watch closely. Because there’s a lot you’re not supposed to see in Beijing.
First, if you watch Olympic skiing keep an eye on the edge of the television screen. Because it never snows in those mountains. Like, ever. They piped in water and built a reservoir so they could pump man-made snow onto the slopes. It’s 100% fake.
But they didn’t stop at the edge of the ski runs. To complete the illusion of an Alpine wonderland the Chinese government ordered the snowguns aimed into the trees until the “snow” is 2 inches deep. So everything looks white on TV.
And the trees. Evergreens are not native to these mountains. So they’ve replanted acres upon acres of mature evergreens.
Remember, look to the edges of the screen for an occasional glimpse of reality.
And the reality is the skiing events are nowhere near Beijing. The mountains are five hours away by train. The ever-powerful Chinese leaders decreed that we’ll bring the mountains closer, by building a high-speed train that cuts the trip to 60 minutes. Not that many people will ride that train. Beijing is under lockdown and only a few hand-selected people will get to be there as spectators.
For the 2008 Summer games, China was out to prove that it was becoming a friendly world leader. This time around they’re showing us how powerful they are by moving mountains and clamping total lockdowns on everyone and everything to prove the government is even more powerful than COVID.
On TV it’s gonna look like the Winter Olympics. But not quite the way you remember them.
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