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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Starlet Lin Miaoke mimed at Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

Starlet Lin Miaoke mimed at Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony
Rowan Callick, China correspondent | August 13, 2008 12:00am

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Lin Miaoke, right, replaced Yang Peiyi for the Opening Ceremony performance of Hymn to the Motherland because she was cuter.
LIN Miaoke, the cute nine-year-old girl whose solo Hymn to the Motherland added a human touch to last Friday's opening ceremony, has since been outed as a fake after being flooded with commercial offers.
The ceremony's music director, Chen Qigang, revealed that Lin was not singing but miming to a recording by another girl, Yang Peiyi, who was dumped from the starring role because she wasn't as pretty and had uneven teeth.

And it has also been revealed that the dazzling chain of massive fireworks that traced Route One north from Tiananmen Square to the main Olympic zone during the opening ceremony, amazing television viewers and the audience in the Bird's Nest stadium, was mostly computer-generated.

Music chief Chen told Beijing People's Broadcasting Station that when the opening ceremony team began rehearsing in the Bird's Nest, leaders came from various government agencies to watch, "especially a leader from the Politburo, who gave us his opinion, this has to change".

Thus while Yang cut the best recording of the song, at the Central People's Radio Station she could not be presented to the world because, Chen said, the national interest was at stake.

"The child on camera had to be flawless in looks, in her feelings and in her expression," he said.

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Re-cap: Your step-by-step guide Multimedia: Re-live the Opening Ceremony In pictures: 101 stunning images Lin had earlier performed in a TV advertisement when she was only six, and in Olympic promotions.

The state-owned China Daily yesterday described her as a "songbird", saying: "She is already well on her way to becoming a star, thanks to her heart-warming performance".

Chen said the organisers had a responsibility to explain why they had made the switch.

"It was the image of our national music, our national culture. And especially since it accompanied the arrival of the national flag in the arena, this was an extremely serious matter," he said.

In the end, he said, the change resulted in "a perfect voice and perfect image, merged together" which he thought was fair to both girls.

"When Lin Miaoke was singing (on Friday), she may not have realised that was not her own voice" echoing around the stadium," he said.

The Beijing Times has further revealed that the 55-second, 29-sequence firework footprints exploding their way up Beijing's central axis was "mostly an animated three-dimensional video that was made over a year. It was not actually live footage except the final stage" at the stadium itself.

Gao Xiaolong, a worker in the video team for the opening ceremony, said the director's staff decided to replace the originally proposed live broadcast with a recording, due to flight restrictions on the helicopters required to film it, and the timing and complexity of the challenge.

A video company named Crystal Stone composed the film.

"Looking at it from today, the video was a bit brighter than the real fireworks," he said.

"But most viewers thought it was live, so we succeeded in the effect we had wanted."

Meanwhile, the former gymnast Li Ning, winner of three Olympic gold medals, who was hoisted by wires to light the Games flame, swiftly received a massive reward for his efforts.

Shares in his Hong Kong-listed sportswear company, which has a 10.5 per cent share of China's market, had slumped 34 per cent this year, in line with the rest of the declining market.

But his starring role in the Games opening gave his stock a massive boost, rewarding him on paper by $34 million when the stock exchange opened on Monday

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