Music faked at Sydney Olympics opening ceremony

And you thought only the Chinese did it…

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SYDNEY – Eight years after it hosted an Olympics that were famously hailed as the "best games ever," Sydney has had to confess that it faked one of the key musical performances at the opening ceremony in 2000.

The revelation came after it emerged that nine-year-old Lin Miaoke was just lip-synching when she "sang" a patriotic song before 91,000 people and a global television audience during the August 8 opening ceremony at the Beijing Games.

Orchestra bosses have admitted that the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) mimed its entire performance at the ceremony, and that some of the real music was in fact recorded by rival musicians in Melbourne.

"It was all pre-recorded and the MSO (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) did record a minority of the music that was performed," SSO managing director Libby Christie told Australia’s Fairfax newspapers earlier this week.

"It’s correct that we were basically miming to a pre-recording," she said.

The respected orchestra gave the fake performance because Olympics organisers "wanted to leave nothing to chance" and a second orchestra was found to record the backing tape because of a "mountainous workload" in Sydney, Christie said.

The admission has columnists in Melbourne — which has a longstanding rivalry with glitzier Sydney — crowing over the fact that its musicians ghosted a crucial performance by their arch-rivals.

The head of the MSO confirmed the performance had been pre-recorded but defended the move, saying it was "purely a workload issue" and in no way reflected on the relative quality of either orchestra.

"It’s nothing to do with priorities or which orchestra is better. It was decided to split (the work) between the two orchestras," he said.

"It’s quite a normal practice and if the Olympics had been in Melbourne, the Sydney Symphony would have been involved — I’m sure of that."

Christie said the Sydney orchestra had very rarely mimed performances but had done so at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Sydney, while the MSO said it had used a backing tape at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Beijing Olympic officials went on the defensive two weeks ago when it was revealed that pigtailed Lin Miaoke, who became a celebrity in China after her performance, had not actually done the singing.

It later emerged the real voice belonged to chubby seven-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was deemed not attractive enough to go on stage, and that the switch was ordered by a politburo member of China’s ruling Communist party.

101 Things to do at Nirwana Gardens

Had a lovely weekend at Bintan.  We saw lots of wild life at the resort… shall let the photos do the talking…

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We had a comfy room on the 3rd floor.

 

 

 

 

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View from our hotel room.

 

 

 

 

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There’re 101 things to do at Nirwana Gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Like getting a massage…

 

 

 

 

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Snakes & Ladders or…

 

 

 

 

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Lizards?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Iceman prefers a more intellectual game.

 

 

 

 

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We enjoyed white sands and blue skies.

 

 

 

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Sighted some beached whales

 

 

 

 

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I liked the fact the pool didn’t have an overpowering chlorine smell.

 

 

 

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The bubbly pool was nice too!

 

 

 

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Nature lovers may enjoy swimming with wild life (in the pool!).

 

 

 

 

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Or have a drink at the pool bar.

 

 

 

 

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Shot of the pool.

 

 

 

 

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Yummy Korean dinner at Jeju restaurant.

 

 

 

 

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Ultimate Nachos (better than the ones at Harry’s!)

 

 

 

 

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Tiramisu

 

 

 

 

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Fruit Cheese Cake

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Fudge Cake

 

 

 

 

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Pink Passion (light rum, strawberries, vanilla and I can’t remember what else.  Heh.)

 

 

 

 

 

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Irish Cream something… *hic*

 

 

 

 

 

I think this resort has a lot of future…

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Get it?  Get it?  Hehehehehehehe.

Feng Tianwei Jia You!!!!!!

I’m really really impressed with the latest addition to our table-tennis team, Feng Tianwei!  Though she’s a "lowly" world #9, the tenacity she has against players who are ranked higher than her is amazing.  I’ve been dutifully watching the "Today in Beijing" every night at 11pm just to catch the table-tennis team’s performance and I am truly moved by their determination.  How they fight so hard for every point, their focus and willpower driving them forward, I love these women!

Although Feng Tianwei lost in her match against Zhang Yining today, I think she did extremely well against the world #1.  Seeing Zhang’s frustration at the extremely strong challenge Feng posed gave me great satisfaction!  Looking at Zhang’s eyebrows furrow as EVERY set they played went into deuce… my admiration for Feng has increased tremendously.  The score of their 5 sets are – 13-11, 12-14, 14-12, 12-10 13-11.  Well done Feng Tianwei!!

Zhang Yining said this of Feng Tianwei, "She has good defence and is good at rallies.  Compared to the last time, I feel that she has improved in her ability to sustain a rally.  She is still young and has a great future."  (Feng is 21 years old).

This is quite a contrast with what Zhang Yining said of her earlier opponent, Ai Fukuhara from Japan. 

"Overall the match was within my control. I felt quite assured of a win. Compared to my opponent, I have greater capabilities. So I was certain of winning the match.  I might have relaxed too much in the fourth game and lost my concentration. I just wanted to hurry up and go home to rest."

Go home to rest?!?  Hahahahahaha.  I thought that was hilarious.  I would be so insulted if I were Ai Fukuhara.  Heeheehee.

There was a bit of a screw up in one of our table-tennis matches today though.  Gao Ning had to compete without any coach’s assistance.  When the president of our table-tennis association Lee Bee Wah saw this, she immediately called the team manager but was told that all the coaches were busy preparing for the evening matches!  I agree with Lee Bee Wah when she told the press that this was unacceptable!  Singapore brought 5 coaches to Beijing.  One coach was overseeing another match… which means we still had 4 coaches available!  How could they ALL be preparing for the evening’s matches?  I certainly hope she probes further into this!  Tsk tsk!

Anyway, we still have one last player in the running for a medal in the table-tennis singles event.  Team captain, Li Jiawei will be facing Zhang Yining tomorrow.  Li has never won Zhang in the last 12 times they met… but there’s always a first. 明天会跟好.

The Lovelies – July to Aug 2008

Finally got down to sorting out the photos in my desktop computer – putting them into folders, etc, and backing up on my portable hdd.  Decided to post these lovely photos of the bunnies from July to Aug 2008 online.  I have many many photos of all the bunnies that have ever lived in my house before.  The sad thing is most bunnies do not have very long lifespans… I think it’s got to do with our hot tropical weather… so these photos are highly cherished ‘cos when these   bunnies move on to bunny heaven, these photos will be all I have to remember my darlings by.

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Pinky is getting a little too chubby I think… thought he swears he wasn’t the one who broke the stool…

 

 

 

 

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He got really unhappy when I told him he should lose some weight.

 

 

 

 

 

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I felt bad when I saw him sulking but my apologetic pleas fell on deaf ears.

 

 

 

 

 

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Only Horlicks managed to cheer him up by licking him.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comforting Pinky made Horlicks hungry… so she climbed on top of him to reach her food tray.  Heh.

 

 

 

 

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Peanut can be a homewrecker at times… look what she did to Coffee’s play house…

 

 

 

 

Oops… couldn’t get any photos of Peanut ‘cos it was too dark inside the box.  Haha.

Half Solved…

Good grief!  I have no idea why this is happening but I got my permalinks to HALF work.

My permalinks (before the 2.6 nightmare) used to be in the format:
http://uptowngal.org/blog/2008/08/19/sample-post/

Then WP 2.6 came and they got all broken and nothing could fix it.

After the upgrade to 2.6.1, they still didn’t work.  HOWEVER, by selecting a "Custom Structure" in my permalinks setting page and using:
/index.php/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/

I now get this:
http://uptowngal.org/blog/index.php/2008/08/19/if-i-could-take-a-pic/

So I get my post name as part of the URL, but there’s this "index.php" there.  Anyone knows why?!?!??

If I could take a pic…

I amaze myself.  My right bicep and shoulder are aching from playing too much Nintendo Wii Sports.  Was applying Yoko Yoko to my sore shoulder when I saw in the mirror – a blue black on my back, near my shoulder blade!  Gosh!  I have no idea how this bruise appeared in such a weird place… and how no earth did I incur this injury by playing Wii tennis (or bowling)!  I definitely don’t remember hitting anything!  I would’ve taken a picture just to remember this amazing bruise if only I could aim the camera properly… it’s kind of hard when you can’t lift your right arm much.  Heh.

Double Happiness

Our women’s table-tennis team just gave Singapore its first Olympic (silver) medal in 48 years.  48 years – that’s a wait that started even before Singapore gained independence.  Kind of put things into perspective doesn’t it?  Our girls fought hard.  They clawed tooth and nail for every point in the semi-final against Korea to earn their place in the final.  And though China proved the stronger team, I’m still extremely proud that our girls never gave up.  They pushed China to show their mettle in every rally and that was good enough for me.

There have been some naysaying Singaporeans though.  Saying that it’s no big deal because our 3 players were born in China and were brought to Singapore to play table-tennis for us under our Foreign Talent programme.  Supporters of the Foreign Talent programme have defended it by saying it doesn’t matter where the players are from since almost every nation in the world has a China born table-tennis player. (What, you thought all the Nigerian and Korean table-tennis players were born and bred in those countries?)  Their stand is, if others can do it, why can’t we?

Personally, I look at it differently.  To every Singaporean who thinks we need a Singapore born citizen to represent us in sports, I have this question – Where did your grandparents and/or great-grandparents come from?  Was it not China, Malaya or India?  At 43 years old, Singapore is a very very young nation and the vast majority of our citizens descended from migrants who came to Singapore in search of a better life.  We, of all countries, should be less xenophobic!

So I say, "加油!".  I’m proud of Li Jia Wei, Feng Tian Wei and Wang Yue Gu.  Thank you for letting Singapore’s flag be raised for the first time in the Olympics.  I hope you girls get more medals in the singles matches in the next couple of days.  Go Team Singapore!  May you get double happiness at the tables.

 

P.S. Did you know Tan Howe Liang, our first silver medalist at the Olympics in 1960 also migrated here from China?