A 7-year-old Chinese girl was not good-looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another little girl with a pixie smile lip-synched “Ode to the Motherland,” a ceremony official said —the latest example of the lengths Beijing took for a perfect start to the Summer Games.
A member of China’s Politburo asked for the last-minute change to match one girl’s face with another’s voice, the ceremony’s chief music director, Chen Qigang, said in an interview with Beijing Radio.
“The audience will understand that it’s in the national interest,” Chen said in a video of the interview posted online Sunday night.
The news follows reports that some footage of the fireworks exploding across China’s capital during the ceremony was digitally inserted into television coverage, apparently over concerns that not all of the 29 blasts could be captured on camera.
China has been eager to present a flawless Olympics image to the world, shooing migrant workers and so-called petitioners who come to the central government with grievances from the city and shutting down any sign of protest.
The country’s quest for perfection apparently includes its children.
Lin Miaoke’s performance Friday night, like the ceremony itself, was an immediate hit. “Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke becomes instant star with patriotic song,” the China Daily newspaper headline said Tuesday.