If hosting the Olympics is all about the publicity, China is walking a fine line. The WSJ reports that a Hong Kong journalist, Norman Choy, had his travel permit confiscated on arrival in Beijing and was put on the next flight home. Choy had earlier been given credentials by China to cover the games. This could be an early rumble in a landslide of negative publicity from the Western Press.
The LA Times reports that China has been pursuing a "Soviet-style" approach to maximizing their haul of gold at the games. That's not pretty either. The idea that this demonstrates a "superior" system would be laughable if it were not so sad.
Clemson student Jon Altman has a post on the economic motivation behind a generally losing strategy, the breakaway in a bike race, which we see annually in the Tour de France. This is a good example of commercial strategies intermingling with the strategies of sport, which sporting purists decry. The ruin of sport is at hand!
Actually, not. Mussolini, Hitler, the GDR and USSR were greater threats to sport than commerce, and they've all fallen by the wayside.