Friday, August 15, 2008

Beijing Olympic Hostesses

If you're as addicted to the Olympics as I am, then I'm sure you've seen these women:

They're the ones that hand out the flowers and guide the athletes around at the medal ceremonies. They're technically called medal ceremony "hostesses", and I don't remember seeing them before at other Olympics. Maybe it's an Asian thing (this kind of thing is common in Japan as well) or maybe it's just that they were not so beautiful at past Olympics. In fact, my wife actually found a news report today (only in Japanese, unfortunately) talking about how this is actually turning out badly for some athletes because nobody's paying any attention to them as they receive their medals. All eyes are on the hostesses.

I also found an interesting (English) article from last year about how Olympic officials were selecting these girls. They had some pretty specific requirements for the look - for example, to us it probably sounds insane to only consider girls whose "eye length is three-tenths of the face". Also, do the girls above look "plump but not fat" to you? Asian standards of weight and body type are pretty different than ours!

One sort of related thing. Ever wonder how to pronounce "Beijing"? I've been hearing a lot of TV commentators pronounce it "Bay-zheeng", which I thought sounded weird, but figured they must know better than I do. I know Japanese pronunciations, but not Chinese. Turns out, it's pronounced exactly like it looks - "Bay-jing", with a hard "j" and a short "i". Pronouncing it the other way is wrong, probably an attempt to make it sound "more foreign". (But doesn't "Bay-zheeng" sound French rather than Chinese??)


  1. i have noticed these girls. They are pretty attractive in general.

    and yea, im pretty fat by asian standards. its a sad day.

  2. what?! i hadn't noticed!


About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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