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Courtney Woo
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Blog Entries by Courtney Woo

Through China's Own Voices: How People Are Feeling Now That the Party's Over

Posted August 27, 2008 | 17:47:03 (EST)

A Chinese volunteer told me that the Chinese wanted the Olympics to be "shi quan shi mei" (10 complete and 10 beautiful). He likened this to raising a small child whom you want to be perfect. But how do you feel when that child has grown up and left the...

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The "Politics" of an Olympic Pastime: Pin Trading at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Posted August 23, 2008 | 11:21:12 (EST)

Nearing the end of the Games, broadcasters have settled into work routines and the International Broadcast Center main help desk has quieted down. Now, the questions we receive are less about logistics and transportation and more like "Do you want to trade pins?" It seems pin trading has consumed almost...

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Despite Threats of Detention, Ticket Scalping Continues at Beijing's Subway Stations

Posted August 22, 2008 | 15:42:17 (EST)

I wrote the other day that despite rumors of sold out Olympic sporting events, tickets are still available (albeit sporadically) at cosport.com. Well today I discovered another hotbed of ticket selling -- or should I say scalping -- where you can buy top tickets if you're willing to gamble and...

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Why the Big Fuss Over Food at Beijing's Concession Stands?

Posted August 21, 2008 | 00:07:14 (EST)

During my most recent visit to watch baseball at Boston's Fenway Park, I consumed a chili cheese dog, a sleeve of fries, buttery popcorn and a beer -- actually, more than one. At Beijing's Wukesong Basketball Stadium today I settled for a Coke Zero and yogurt.

I'd like to say...

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The Corporate "Green Olympics": Sponsors Use Green Messaging in Their Pavilions

Posted August 19, 2008 | 22:25:50 (EST)

If Beijing were to choose a representative for its "Green Olympics," China Sinopec would win gold. The multinational energy and oil giant made the essence of the term literal by turning its exhibition hall on the Olympic Green into a monstrous Chia pet. The image is best summarized in one...

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Track and Field Delivers World Records Despite Fears of Poor Air Quality; Tickets Can Be Bought

Posted August 18, 2008 | 20:57:58 (EST)

On Saturday, August 16 I sat in China's National Stadium for the very first time to watch Jamaica's Usain Bolt literally bolt to the finish line of the 100-meter race, breaking both the Olympic and world records with speed and ease. The fact that Bolt broke a world record

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A Week After 8/8: Despite Simulated Fireworks, the Opening Ceremony Still Shines for Locals

Posted August 15, 2008 | 12:46:27 (EST)

A rapt Chinese crowd stares up at a theater-sized screen mounted on the facade of a children's department store. It is night, 11:30pm on August 8, at a designated outdoor viewing station by Subway Line 10. On the sidewalk several people sit on camping chairs. Others recline on blankets in...

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A Snapshot of the Olympic Green 48 Hours Before the Games Begin

Posted August 8, 2008 | 18:34:45 (EST)

The energy at the International Broadcast Center two days before the opening ceremony is frenetic.

Teams of broadcasters, technicians and personnel scramble in and out trying to configure their studios and crews in an unfamiliar country as the clock counts down to 8.8.08.

Many pause at the lobby's Main Help...

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On Navigating Beijing's Tight Security: Subways, Stadiums, Medications and Tampons

Posted August 6, 2008 | 19:02:54 (EST)

Security in Beijing tightens by the day as the Olympics approach. In early July, I went through zero security checkpoints a day. Today, traveling to and from the IBC I pass through security and have my badge checked a total of eight times. But in the wake of this Monday's...

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Marketing, Nationalism and the Olympics Launch an Era of Volunteerism in China

Posted August 2, 2008 | 15:04:29 (EST)

A high-ranking BOCOG official recently said that once people have food on the table and disposable income in their pockets, volunteerism naturally follows. Combine economics with national pride and a little marketing, and you have the unprecedented turn out of volunteers on display at Beijing's 2008 Summer Olympics.

The glorification...

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Reporting for Volunteer Duty at Beijing's Olympic Broadcast Tower

Posted July 30, 2008 | 21:18:48 (EST)

On Saturday, July 26, I report for duty at Ling Long Pagoda (LLP) along with the three other UNC volunteers. Our contracts read "broadcast coordination," but we soon find our post is more accurately termed "help desk assistant." Our responsibilities now include giving directions, checking for suspicious activity, and routing...

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China's Environmental Progress May Not Win Olympic Medals, But Why Not at Least Recognition?

Posted July 30, 2008 | 10:26:14 (EST)

Soon after our July 5th arrival, BOCOG invites its 300 media volunteers on a three-day sightseeing tour. The first day we visit a wastewater treatment plant and a farming village. It is not the sightseeing we had in mind, but I am excited to be along for the junket and...

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A Media Intern Blogs Behind the Scenes at the Beijing Olympics

Posted July 26, 2008 | 17:17:32 (EST)

When I first studied in Beijing in August 2001, my Chinese textbook included a chapter about the 2008 Olympics; already, China had made the Games a national priority. Since then, China has worked to meet the many provisions of its Olympic contract. One particularly sensitive issue is how to balance...

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