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Scoring the Olympics46:10
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Olympic and Chinese flags fly near the portrait of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Aug. 6, 2008.  (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
Olympic and Chinese flags fly near the portrait of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Aug. 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

From those massed drummers of the opening ceremony, to the eight medals on swimmer Michael Phelps, to the lightning speed of Jamaican Usain Bolt and Beijing’s eye-popping facilities, everything has seemed larger than life ... except perhaps those tiny Chinese gymnasts.

China, NBC, and a whole lot of athletes wanted gold out of Beijing — and there’s a lot to go around. This hour, from sport to media to China’s bottom line, we’re scoring the Olympics.

Have you loved the Games, hated them, been riveted — or not? What image of sports, of China, will stick in your mind? And how about the way we've been shown, or not shown, the Games and the host nation by NBC and by China? How do you score these Olympics as a media event? What have you learned, or not learned, about China? You can join the conversation right here. Share your thoughts.Guests:

Joining us from London is Rob Gifford, NPR's London bureau chief. He was NPR's Beijing bureau chief for six years and is the author of "China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power." He was last in China following the earthquakes in May.

From Washington, we're joined by Paul Farhi. A staff writer for The Washington Post since 1988, he currently covers popular culture, the media, politics, and other subjects for the Post's Style section and writes washingtonpost.com's Olympics blog, "Playback: The Games on TV."

And from Laurel, Maryland, we're joined by David Steele, longtime sports columnist for The Baltimore Sun, Michael Phelps' hometown paper.

This program aired on August 21, 2008.

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